Poetry for thought - Impromptu

by J. Allyn Rosser

First there was Jim, clamping to my long black hair
           that nine-pound Cleopatra wig
           with nylon bands and bobbie pins.

Meanwhile I was on fire for Chad, who coached me
          a bit impatiently Tuesday nights
          on my Joan-of-Arc inflection.

Then Terence said I’d be perfect for the lounge-singer-
         turned-whore, and as it turned out
         that was a fairly easy gig.

Max signed me on soon after, claiming I was a natural
         for Eternally Aggrieved Girl,
         which in hindsight hurts me deeply.

So by the time you followed me back to the green room
         to wait in the hallway—whistling!—
         for my scrubbed face to emerge,

naturally I was wary, waiting for the script
        you never bothered to come up with.
        It was damned awkward sitting there,

nothing but milkshakes between us. Maybe, I thought,
        you’d assumed I was the one with a script.
        Finally I decided to give Terence a call.

I didn’t like the way you looked at me so steadily
        with your chin resting on one fist,
        as if the table were a table, the boards

A floor. Listening there as if you meant it,
        as if something I could say were true, and every
        moment from now on would be my cue.

image: flickr-drothamel

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