What Kind of Fool Am I
I’m not yet old enough to see everyone as the ghost of
someone else, but I’m old enough to do the math.

In 1962, Anthony Newley wrote and starred in the hit
musical, Stop the World—I Want to Get Off. Mom

played the soundtrack so loud and so often,
a neighbor left an anonymous note saying,

Stop the Record—Please Turn It Off. Years later,
when I heard Bowie’s tremolo, I thought it

had to be Newley. Turns out, everyone copied him;
most are dead now. Mom taught me, by example,

the Murphy bed approach to housekeeping, 
i.e, the appearance of order. Deep cleaning was

saved for another day, like our own feelings,
which were best bought, eaten, drunk, smacked,

fucked or played on the turntable loud enough
to drown out the crying. My house is clean

and orderly both. I have learned to use
like against like for marks and stains—protein

for protein, oil for oil, unguent for unguent.
It is wrong to think that we are unlike others.

As a little girl, I could belt the refrain:
“Why can’t I fall in love/like any other man?”

It is wrong to think that we are not. Newley 
died playing Vegas. Spotlights looked smokier then, 

bleaching what was lit in them, like our security
lights in rain, under which, when tripped,

one is unable to identify who you are, or what,
while all you see, at the edge of your world, is dark.
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