Money Plant, Ron Wickersham

to hell in a handbag

by P.J. Nights

i unsphincter my lips
from their eight-hour pucker
and try to blink away the retina-seared image
of the head honchoís ever-widening ass.

at the bank, i loosen my tight-fisted grip
on my bi-weekly pay;
i'm beyond the point where
my landlord will take my superball checks.
i need the cash.

back out into an early Friday evening,
a whiff of cabbage
from the dumpster behind OíFlanaganís
brings back the barely-curbed, whispered
advances of my boss,
has me breathing deeply of the green
in my wallet to squash the nausea.

suddenly i canít take the sordidness of my life:
drooling leers from a fat old man,
pissy drafts at pool hall happy hours,
drooling leers from fat young men.

I want a cocktail or a spritzer
a new dress and handbag and shoes to match.
at the boutique i blow my wad,
shoehorn the pumps into the remaining
slot on my VISA,
leave K-Mart designer line in a heap
on the dressing room floor.

for the price of one glass of wine at the bistro
and my new look,
i get the rest of my alcoholic haze for free
and a man who doesnít smell
like Aqua Velva and old Fritos.

I wake to a mouthful of sweaters,
pounding head and pounding on the door.
my landlord didnít quite get my monetary emergency,
but i still have my apartment --
another month traded for a Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear
and matching shoes.
i hope his mistress enjoys them.

hell, at least being broke means
i canít afford groceries;
starvation diets are good for my figure.
donít i look great in just this purse?
my mother always said
you could judge a lady by her purse.

©2002 by PJ Nights

P.J. Nights lives in coastal Maine with her family and various pound pets. She teaches physics and astronomy. Her poetry and stories have been or will be published online at Erotica Readers Association, Clean Sheets, Erosha, Erotic Epistle, Adult Story Corner, Mind Caviar, Amoret, the Emerald Collection, MiPoesias, and Slow Trains Issue 3. See more of her work at her Web site.

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