36

That’s when Marilyn died,
and my mother was born
of her mother.
A long line of women
dressed in black,
shutters on their eyes,
craving daylight,
rays of substance.
I think. I hope.

Then wrinkles arrive,
like unwanted gifts
from friends
that don’t know you,
or like you, that much
but still remain loyal
to your misery.

Something good could happen,
at any moment now,
but it usually doesn’t.
Soon all is covered
with trivia
of what and where
and with whom
and why.

Maybe you read into it
too much,
the mags and the rags,
what people want,
what people desire,
buy that tale
wholesale,
stapled with
a thousand
tiny, forgettable
lies.

Fitting in?
As a survival tactic
it clearly makes sense.
You need your own bed
& bath & baby & boredom.
A future, grinning
wildly.

It’s just that the word –
‘future’, has
a drunken ring to it
at 36.

A grand aunt who promises
fame & fortune
when you are in pigtails,
smothering the world
with your dreams
and your damage,
and then chooses to
empty a bottle
of vodka
and jump off
a rooftop,
wearing high heels,
quoting Rilke.

That strange, soulful,
sinister old aunt,
who gave good story,
but bad advice.

© Milana Vujkov, 36, 2006

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