D.A. Powell


You’ve gone and gotten cozy with the doorman;
 he’s so smitten, he’s ready to lose his job.
How did you get here, he wants to know.
You go all kitten in his lap. You’re almost genuine.
Once you’re in, who cares if you’ve blown your cover.

You’ve got to put on the outfit that says:
 I don’t want to fuck you. I just want to dance.
But also: meet me in the parking lot with some blow.
  To the outskirts of Tooterville you go—
(nobody holds a gun to your head.
Nobody beats you with a length of hose.
 You’re cute when you’re young and cute.
Now wipe those lips. Now wipe that runny nose.)
 — with a little white slut.

D. A. Powell's books include Cocktails (Graywolf Press 2004) and Chronic, (Graywolf Press 2009), both finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. In 2010, he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, Powell lives and teaches in San Francisco.
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    Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí