Preferred customer

Shop, shop.
Ostrich, alligator,
The more endangered
The better the skin
To wrap around
The shoes,
The bags.
The rush
Keeps you stoked
Through Caesar salad and cabernet
At the Cabaret Café,
Batting eyelashes
At the busboy
Till the speed wears off.
Still a pulse on the American Express
So you hop in your red
Mercedes roadster and ride
To Bloomingdales and Bergdorf’s
Pit stopping in between
For some Tangeray and tonic to temper
The mid afternoon crash and tint
The contacts rose till night falls.
After inhaling a bloody t-bone
At the Samurai Steakhouse
You wipe a spittle of vomit from your chin
Before vying for and winning theattention
Of a baby faced traveling salesman
Twenty years your junior,
Knee deep in seven and sevens at thebar. Leading your prey to your lair
Of an apartment spotless
From the efforts of the afternoon maid,
You fuck what’s his name till three AM
When he begs off a third orgasm
Because of a big deal morningpresentation.
You steal his red Bert Pulitzer tie
Because he left the toilet seat up
And refused a kiss goodnight.
You wake at eleven with chapped lips,
A throat coated with a stale stickiness
And a mouth full of hot cotton.
You puke, piss and stumble
To the cracked mirror on the wall
Streaks of crimson criss crossing
The egg whites of your eyes
Underneath which a dark pool
Circles like a moat
Surrounding ruins.
Even all the leather bought
The day before looks worn
Threadbare like the pre tanned hides
Of a beaten animal.
You lay out your makeup
Like a Van Gogh palette and paint
For over an hour
Until death is glossed over
Freeing you to the task of filling
The hole of another day.

Tony Pena lives in Beacon, New York. He has relatively recently begun writing poetry in earnest again after a twenty year hiatus. Previously published in Slipstream many moons ago as well as several other small mags which may or may not be in existence anymore, he has recently been published in Gutter Eloquence and Chronogram.

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