Four Poems

by Rachel B. Glaser

Grand Variety

at the Community College where I clean the students are virgins of stone and I stick my blue gum into the carved wrinkles in their jeans the girls show their lust in run-on sentences while a tiny mustache grows on a young jock/slacker I am an actress so whatever job I take on is a performance art piece especially when I mop the gym floor far from the small campus, in the stark light of my cramped apartment my date has a CVS brand orgasm and I buy a Nike one on my smartphone I’m not that athletic but I like how it feels my parents have a lot of Price Club orgasms but I will never be like them an orgasm at the Community College will destroy the faces of the nuns and freeze the students into a coma/sculpture state but still, once in a while, I have a knock off Versace quietly in the trees an orgasm pushes you far away from yourself rushing you to the end of your life almost every company has one in the west coast there are a lot of start-up orgasms very difficult to classify and an ergonomic one I have bookmarked the tab to some girls can only have JCrew orgasms those are good too (in the Fall) during a sun shower I dust the Community College the students forget their homework and their virginity is forced upon them again like Disney movies, VHS tapes, and Old Spice deodorant in the waiting room at an audition for a cartoon voiceover I find myself pretending to be a Community College student I fold my legs underneath me, check my phone, and sigh exhausted in my bedroom (which is covered in wall hangings the last tenant left behind) I fool myself into a nap, but a PayPal rep wakes me I want us to have an Excel orgasm together, a Tupperware one, or Nature’s Pride but I barely know her while everyone is partying and succeeding in nyc and all the cities in my computer’s time zone list I turn on all the lamps to raise my confidence the wall hangings look on with folky, unfinished faces how haggard I feel having a Land’s End orgasm though my breasts don’t know the difference

My common lover if my lover isn’t a prince of a nation he is at least a dangerous man with style Augustine wore a zebra carcass his hair wound around a hunk of jewel Herman dressed smartly and gifted me a diamond fork I am a noblewoman small inside a castle of cold stones covered in furs and woods and drapes a coat closet a dress closet a wing for me to romance in flush with sentimental rugs reflecting in the many eyes of crystal the only common lover I ever took was a man with a golden voice that made women unconsciously lean forward when he said my name aloud I felt enormous pride for myself to greet this man I had a new wardrobe made one that used expensive and rare fabric but in a less ornate fashion the eyes of the common lover grew glassy when he stepped foot in my castle so I redid one of the wings in a more understated style nights we lay in bed and he told me of his modest life no, I told him gently, tell me again of mine

Best nose “Lucky me,” Mom said, “best nose!” Janey wanted surgery so we all crowded around the mirror Mom gave us old photographs to look at “Phillis was lucky,” Mom said, “best eyes!” Phillis is our lost sister who ran off when she was young she used to laugh when we were naked and in a circle of four pressing our breasts to our sisters’ breasts she used to let the dog lick her mouth while we all played cards in the kitchen we began to cry, Phillis was very unlucky in fact she had left home and when she tried to return, mother pretended not to recognize her though she had grown very beautiful she returned to California without stepping foot in our house we cried from the upstairs window the more we cried, the uglier we got, according to mother “Who has the best hair?” I asked, though I knew the answer Hattie blushed and mother laughed “Your hair wouldn't be any good if I didn’t wheel it in curlers!” it was true each week we watched in boredom as mother rolled Hattie’s hair the phone rung “It’s Phillis!” we shrieked, as we always shriek when the telly rings I tore across the room to answer it “Hellooo,” Phillis said, in the sly way they talk in Hollywood “Heloooo!” we said in unison, crowded around the receiver

I took a secret trip to have an affair but wanted to call my wife the whole time I wondered what shows she was watching I knew since I was gone my wife was living in a forbidden, wanton way I knew for instance, that she was leaving things where she had used them not where they belonged if she had cooked, the dishes still sat around like guests the dog was in the bed I slept with my lover and it was a strenuous ordeal I could see my wife eating popcorn through it waiting it out afterwards there was no leisure as travel is just stress over leisure there was leisure but it was foreign my arms brushed against my lover all the things I didn’t know about her lived inside her like barnyard animals my wife was beyond it all splayed out on our old couch in the middle of a long stare at the ceiling fan made hallucinatory by light and a lack of responsibilities my lover hesitated in the bed when I excused myself to the bathroom she shifted and took her mood to an unknown depth she could tell I held my phone like a key away from the world

Rachel B. Glaser

Rachel B. Glaser is the author of Pee On Water, MOODS, and Paulina & Fran. These poems appear in her collection HAIRDO from Song Cave (Spring 2017).