Oct/Nov 2011 Poetry

A Love Story That Is Not Mine

by Hala Alyan

Mosaic artwork by Laura Robbins

Mosaic artwork by Laura Robbins

A Love Story That Is Not Mine

You meet someone when you are growing your
hair out. You shed bobby pins as you dance. The party is hash-

speckled, the night like a charged balloon
about to be released. He paints a nativity scene

on your arm and kisses your jaw. You pray
it is miscalculation. The love that ensues is

feline. You are determined now to be a deity, a thousand
Aztec shrines in face of his crooked circles. But spring

comes and he spills tequila on your dress. Love
steels you and you visit a grotto together. When you point

to a shadow, he calls you damaged goods. You laugh:
it is a vacant sound. When you fill out comment cards,

you use words like limp and dispirited. The bed as prison,
the kitchen as wasteland. Pasta sands your throat.

A turquoise necklace and a rotten apple adorn the
sink the morning he leaves. You spend weeks writing

checklists, fat azure words. The paper reminds you of
egg yolks. Your loss bristles. Your hair is shorn.


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