Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Loving Rhonda

He called her Rhon-diful before the lovemaking
because, well, she was Beau-tiful. No lightbulb went
off. Maybe it was his good looks or, with heated
and/or cooled cupholders, the Escalade. If he’d
turned the corner a few times, she’d seen the blackboard
ahead. That warning was like a chalked dead-body
swinging from every streetlight and stop sign: Rhonda,
Run Like a Rabbit. But faster. Of course, she didn’t see
anything. Later she’s say it had been raining, or foggy.
Or the devil made her do it. Over time, he used her
like a 3-hole inflatable doll purchased at some cheap
back alley Peep-show store. Some opined that he had
her wearing a baby’s bib in her own house. Nobody
was sure because she couldn’t call or see anyone. “My
daughter is a ghost,” her mother said. Maybe once
a week, he’d fly his Rhon-diful on sojourns to the
furthest corners of her SleepEZ mattress. She hated
the curtain calls. She began to lose her hair. Her boss
wrote her off. She’s never tell anyone how he took
control of her bank accounts, spun Ballegio chips
on his fingertips, gave her that first (then second)
blackeye. But one night when she was alone in bed,
it stopped raining, the fog cleared. She no longer
said, “But I Love Him.” She filled her Louis Vuitton
carry-on, taxied to the closest airport. Nobody could
guess what she was carrying. Security didn’t spot it,
the X-Ray conveyer belt didn’t pick it up. After landing,
she didn’t care how long her bag would ride on that
baggage carousel. Or what inspectors might say–or
find–when they did their cautionary unzipping. She
imagined that someone might sense it–the severed
head, testicles or penis. Outside, she called an old
flame, felt him crayoning her eyelashes, powdering
her cheeks. Over the phone, he’d ask her to spell her
name. She wouldn’t have to take off her clothes till
she was safely at his apartment, and they were together.
Isaac Black (an MFA graduate of Vermont College), has published in journals like the Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and Boston Literary Magazine. He’s been a Pushcart nominee, and recipient of poetry fellowships from the New York State Creative Artists Service Program (CAPS) and New York Foundation of the Arts.

Categories: Poetry, Themed, Unfortunately I can't love you

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. It’s nice to spot Isaac Black’s work out and about. Such a fantastic writer, that guy. Really wonderful piece, here!

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