Aluminum Foil

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

He won't be fooled again.
He doesn't understand this turning-straw-into-gold business.
Maybe it isn't gold at all but aluminum foil
speckled with xmas cookie crumbs.

Give your boyfriend an ambitious blow job
using your mouth, breasts and hands.
Ascend, ascend.
Tell him he's getting on your nerves.
Slide down into the depths of Sucks Being Me hell.

Two days ago the equation worked so hard it shone.
Girlfriend and boyfriend on the couch watching "American Hustle."
"That's you, baby," gleeful boyfriend tells gleeful girlfriend.
It's never really about hair color or cup size, after all.
It's about the jangly ebullience of a Duke Ellington charm
and the spacy lust of a drug-fueled bathroom stall fuck.
It's either magic or it isn't.
It could never be cardboard.

He hangs up on girlfriend because she was too stupid
to give him a ride to the bus stop.
Girlfriend calls, leaves a bitchy message.
This wound, you could drown in it.
This wound is such an ocean.
Girlfriend goes home and waits in the shadows,
gets tired of the ugly unspooling of the same tired reel,
tosses out the lilies, turns the television to face the wall,
scrawls her name and the title of her latest novel
in a bunch of lesser books,
drives to the nearest bank,
leaves books on the sidewalk.
It's cheap promotion but gas is expensive.

Boyfriend is not expansive.
Comes home to heat and silence and sneer,
raises voice, makes girlfriend drive him to the bank
to prove she was there
not fucking some other guy
because she's a sick bitch
he rescued her from the gutter
and he knows her kind
all to well.

It's school and you are free to leave anytime.
You can put away the board games the standardized tests
the tricks and traps
that lead to nada.
You can stay and try really hard to make top marks,
shine the floor with your knees and La Llorona tears.
You can leave.
You can stay.
You can fly.
You can grovel.

Girlfriend chooses Saturn over Mercury.
She stays.
She tries.
She fools herself.