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Cotillion

Poetry, Craig Kirchner


In two weeks, I’ll be 75.

No party, a coming out, a celebration

of all the training I’ve had to get to this point.

I’ve been prepping for this part,

this moment, since the beginning.

 

I have none of the same vibrant cells that I

had in my stint as a vulnerable child,

running through the park

and all its curiosities,

or the teen dry humping to first orgasm.

 

The skin and hair that carried me on

non-arthritic knees through all the

numerous bits it took to

make a living are now dust,

faded memories.

 

All just understudy,

preparation for today’s starring role.

Three quarters of a century to get to

the lead in this drama,

and my pretend gathering.

 

I’m sure of the etiquette.

I know my manners, what to wear,

and how to greet and shake hands.

I will be polite to high brows,

and the politically naive.

 

I will smile when asked if I enjoy Florida.

I will sip my drink. There will be finger food,

carried on trays through the blurred faces in

the crowd. I will eat them one at a time,

call them hors d’oeuvres and bow to applause.


 

Craig Kirchner has written poetry all his life. He loves storytelling and the aesthetics of the paper and pen. The parallel, horizontal, blue lines on white legal, staring left to right, knowing that the ink, when it meets the resistance of the page will feel extroverted, set free, and at liberty to jump. He was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and has published a book of poetry, Roomful of Navels. He has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Decadent Review, New World Writing, and many others.

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