Apr/May 2006 Poetry

What I Learned at 33 1/3

by Alex Stolis

What I Learned at 33 1/3

She's a nice girl. Not my type—
I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled
and loaded with sin.
                   Raymond Chandler

The way she holds a gun reminds me
of a recurring dream—I'm waiting
for her to say anything and the rain burns

up the shadows. I always wake
to a half-empty bed and my penance
is hard to swallow and it hurts

like only L.A. can hurt—a woman
throws a kiss meant for you
but it's caught by a stranger.

I'll be alone and wonder about her
voice, how it can twist the past
until it becomes our future.

She wears a crucifix and believes
the moon can turn a yellow cloud
into the outline of a fist—

the city is full of the dead, the dying,
and the bored. She tells me sunset
is the wrong side of the tracks—

I tell her I want to be baptized,
buried, and forgotten by the end
of this lost weekend.


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