What was your mantra? Sometimes
you’ve gotta suck a little cock to get what you want.
When I say that now,
people look at me in revulsion.
No one understands better than you
that we’re all whores at brass tacks. I try to remember where
I last saw your silhouette: was it robed
in sunlight, smiling on a pier? Even the ocean was greedy
for a fondle, and would have swallowed you whole
like an antipsychotic or heroin balloon.
Darling, lay back on the settee. Let the rabbit-fur collar
kiss your neck’s stubbled skin. We’ll redact
your lipstick, smudged, and bleeding
mascara. We’ll redact your broken
heel. Have a petit-four and a cup of tea.
We’ll talk boys and pretend they’ve been civil.
When We Were Homeless
we had words, Justice & Atrocity. We had words, candle & blanket.
When in need, writing No Talent on cardboard often earned enough to
feed us all. They laughed at our little chant on the corner, singing spare
some change spare some change, clanging our cans just in time to catch
their quarters. One foot orbiting around the other; it takes skill to dance
all fancy like a circus animal. Sitting in the squat one night you said you
didn’t want dirty anymore. You wanted a summer with a beautiful
woman. You wanted a table and chairs. It was the only time we spoke in
such a fashion. I know you’d been a medic in the war. You knew how to
keep the wound from bleeding a person to death. It’s not about pressure,
you’d say, it’s about convincing them they can live without the blood
Lauren Brazeal has been a homeless gutter-punk, a surfer chick, a maid, and a resident of the Amazon jungle. Her work has appeared widely online and in print in such magazines as DIAGRAM, Verse Daily, Folio, Salamander, and Painted Bride Quarterly. Her two chapbooks are due in 2016 from Dancing Girl Press and Horse Less Press. She maintains a website at www.laurenbrazeal.com