V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Apparently, you’ve been going neck
to neck with all the enemy combatants.
It seems this rig you’ve lived in
and called your name has gone

to the smokestacks of insignificance.
By all accounts, you’re living in the shadows
of a throng of selves—You  are also an atheistic
pastor, dusting the pews with high-to-heaven

shoes.  You’re a sycophant gymnast, splaying
apoplectic contortions on the mat.
But in a nano-second, you’re a biologist
pharmaseuticologist, wanna-be neurologist

looking for the sure demulcent cure.
You’re a bald hair-dresser, who can’t dye
her own hair.  This must be what they meant
by a past life—You used to be a diet-diva,

but now you’re a metro-sexual lawyer.
Who knew you’d be a 16 yr. old virgin,
growing expert in solitude and pain?
One day, you’ll be a dead Gothic princess,

waiting for a graveyard kiss.  You’ve been reincarnate,
fated to google your own tombstone?— The ship 
has gone belly-up—you’re bolting all the doors
to cordon-off  a bottleneck of forsaken names.

We all have our standards.  Haven’t you earned
the right to the skin of your own name?—
Once upon a time, you were just a girl
running through a backyard sprinkler.


© by Cynthia Atkins


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