I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN |PATRICIA CARRAGON

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(inspired by Frank Sinatra)

Her mother’s Art Deco mirror,
once her best friend,
now her worst enemy.

Years of disgust and hormonal discord
took their revenge out on her.
Time lacked compassion for women’s feelings,
especially the pretty ones who lived alone—
even the mirror’s silver-plated Aztec design
had its own nicks and scratches.

The daughter used the mirror’s comb
and brush sisters
to groom her faded curls.
Like the comb, the daughter also lost a few teeth.
Like her mother, she grew stout—
her skin outlined from too much sun,
alcohol, and cigarettes.

She lost her boyfriend to friendly fire—
her happiness sacrificed,
being alive got under her skin.

She no longer crossed her legs—
her posture stiffened, her lips clenched,
her vulva shut tight.

The daughter’s favorite song
had a warning voice,
caused her to lose her grip.

The mirror landed facedown
on the hardwood floor.
The daughter picked it up—
her reflection,
a puzzle on dead glass.

PATRICIA CARRAGON most recent publications include Arriving at a Shoreline Anthology (great weather for MEDIA, 2022), Bear Creek Haiku, Beat Generation Anthology 2022, Clockwise Cat, I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Jazz Musician, Moonstone Press, Out Loud, an LGBTQA Literary Arts Anthology (Red or Green Books), The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow anthology, et al. Her fiction piece “What Has to Happen Next” has been nominated for Sundress Publications Annual Best of the Net Anthology. Her poem “Paris the Beautiful” won Poem of the Week from great weather for MEDIA. She was nominated by Bear Creek Haiku for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Her books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles. She hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.

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