"Style" by Kat Giordano
it’s true what Bukowski said about style –
it really is the answer to everything:
it’s late. we cross paths in front of a 7-11
at which point I lunge forward, swiping
your wallet right out of your shorts.
you’re stunned. you say what the hell
and I simply stammer, paralyzed
by my own shock at what I’ve just done.
there is no getaway. the cops are called
and that’s how you remember me.
now, the same scenario: near-midnight,
the 7-11 on Smithfield, me and you,
only this time, a hug instead of a lunge,
so that my one hand is poaching your wallet
and the other remains innocent, gently rubbing
your back as I try to place the musk of your collar
out of my mind. I whisper have a wonderful night
and then disappear into a cloud of smoke
and it’s only five minutes later at the register
that you realize your wallet is missing. I vanish
without having to answer for it, forever
a mirage in your memory, a fleeting moment
where you ached something awful in your jeans.
mess is inevitable. the real moral duty
lies in making the right one: a fucked-up thing so loud
it can’t be contained in a grimace.
when Hemingway blew his brains out,
I was into that. Plath, too. hell, anybody
who leaves behind a note should earn some points.
life may be precious and short and singular
but style is holy, a smoke bomb in my coat
to be set off only when the time is right,
something symbolic, or maybe televised.
that way, it’ll count.