Miss Muggins Goes to See a Romantic Comedy
How did she find herself now suddenly nominated president of The Association To Make ‘I Love You’ Only a Terrible Campaign Against Loneliness? She had learned to smuggle in more tricks up her sleeve than a sunset. And she knew most of the soundtracks: sodas slurped empty before the start, gum-stuck shoes during, and the sad scattered popcorn mashing into swirling fuchsia carpets after. Still, she felt a poignant rejuvenation from the happy endings’ blond insinuations that maybe one should begin limiting one’s ice cream intake. A singular conservation effort, to use only recycled phrases, feelings. Layering men in winter was usually the best bet, but could get cumbersome, with loyal friend Conscience always arriving late, banging people’s knees, interrupting everyone’s favorite part: the previews.
Miss Muggins Goes to a Nightclub
How to relume, someone was chanting in what haberdashery delight. Succor, maybe, one could suck from the seething black and bedecked topiary— Indeed could bounce the night- hoppers— frolic, festoon, and feet! Unlimited greyhounds all night along velvet jacinth couches; cosmopolitans effusive over triangular glass edges onto chalcedony floors. Then pressed into her palm Here is the token for what ails you, the key to your exit inside here. But what kind of wizard was this, she wondered, of the one up front shaking corrugated spells through the air? Tinnitus treats and whoosh of smoke faintly tasting of baby powder. Sudden fog and she is suddenly alone, completely surrounded— then ah soon returned to her face sweet light-freckles from the sequined globe’s devoted turning. How lambent! How adored! You are homefor me tonight, someone was whispering. It was like the love of a thousand mothers, rubbing the smell and ache of rust off and shaking it into the sea . . . (Then empty out into the daylight death, fatigue.)
Miss Muggins Tricks or Treats
Two weeks past Halloween, she runs down the path to Frank’s Market, Batman cape still affixed to her neck, trailing its black flag like hope behind her. “Fall is too poetic,” she says, watching the leaves swirl-scrape their tiny tornadoes along the sidewalks, the iron barges moving grimly, earnestly across the slate water. “I know it’s a pathetic fallacy, but even the river seems to be preparing itself for the soon-to-be-discontinued coursings along its surface.” No one around seems in the mood to be heroically rescued, so she surveys her pillowcase of Donations Received Thus Far: one half-drunk, Pumpkin Spice Latte; one refrigerator door handle; one tangle of hair meant for nest-caulking dropped from the kind bird’s beak. Later, when the market disappoints her hopes for a hot empanada, she settles on some processed cheese and frozen financiers for later. “Oh,” she says, at the register, “and give me some of those trashy, red, immediate I-don’t-know-why-Swedish Fish” (marveling): Just look how easily today a thing moves me if I need it to. Elizabeth Whittlesey’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Western Humanities Review, POOL: A Journal of Poetry, JERRY, Explosion Proof, Phantom Limb, and Noncanon Press. Elizabeth grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and lives in Manhattan.