Dilemmas of the Angels: A Tip

By David Romtvedt

Dressed in blue sequins and red gloves, her eyes
ringed with dark powder and her lips coated
with bronze gel, she paces with the multitude
until, tired, she stops and leans on a parking meter.
A former man wearing hot pants and a blond wig,
offers her a cigarette, a light, and a tip.

“Look at these bitches massaging themselves
in public for a nickel bag,” the former man says.
“Night Walkers–you don’t want to end up like that.”
And grinds the stub of her cigarette under her heel.

“No, not like that.” The angel says, wondering
about the former man, forgetting her own cigarette
burning down until she leaps, feeling the flame.

“Some night you wake up under an abandoned
Ford Galaxy outside a stranger’s apartment.
And there’s no point waiting for Mr. Right
to come walking down the street in a fine suit
cause it ain’t gonna happen. Just a tip.”

“It ain’t gonna happen.” The angel repeats,
dragging herself out from under the car.
But before she can walk away, some
invisible soul pins her arms to her sides
and slams her into the dumpster behind
the liquor store. “Jesus,” the former man
says, “Are you even listening?”

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Categories: Issue 4, Poetry | Leave a comment

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