Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered – Patricia Carragon

(I’ll sing to him, each spring to him – And worship the trousers that cling to him –
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I—
David Gedge, from the musical, Pal Joey, sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Behind a newspaper,
a fat man in a trench coat
camouflaged his peccadillo
for a pretty damsel
to take a peek.

Neither bewitched by
his slab of meat,
she ignored it.
Momma told her
to keep her mouth shut,
hold on to the pole
until the doors open
at 77th and Lex.

Men weren’t the new sensations,
but after a few beers,
the fine symmetry
hidden in Joey’s trousers
beguiled her.

Being oversexed
had its drawbacks.
Too many pints
covered up his flaws,
and the morning after
gave her a headache.
The right and left sides
of her bed
looked tired—
her wild night left alone
on disheveled sheets.

At work,
she watched his eyes
travel up skirts.
It bothered her,
but men were boys
in snazzy suits.
Genitals ruled
the nature of the male beast.
The lion couldn’t roar
without constant practice
in broken trust.

Over the past few days,
her sleep cycle changed,
thoughts about her pal, Joey,
and the next few years.
Booze had its limitations—
a temporary solution
for her bewildered life.

He lost his job
by the HP printer—
Hormones on overtime
with the boss’ secretary.
He couldn’t pay his rent
and demanded to stay
for a night or two.
His attitude,
less than charming.

She refused,
slammed the door
in his face.
Her body and heart,
antiseptic from wisdom,
learned from mistakes.

She poured
a glass of brandy,
asked Alexa
to dim the lights,
play a show tune
to end the night.

P CarragonPatricia Carragon’s recent publications include Bear Creek Haiku, First Literary Review-East, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Café Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Poetrybay, and Krytyka Literacka. Her latest books are The Cupcake Chronicles (Poets Wear Prada, 2017) and Innocence (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Patricia hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.