My Way – Patricia Carragon

The record shows I took the blows – And did it my way—Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques, Revaux / Paul Anka, sung by Frank Sinatra

The stylized sophistication
of Ol’ Blue Eyes
crooned over the loudspeaker.

Lisa used to work here,
needed something to wear
for a shindig on the 10th floor—
an hour to drink and forget
her lifetime of loss.

Behind dressing room curtains,
selections
of mermaid sequins and silk,
crushed velvet fantasy,
and eyelet femininity.
Her size,
non-existent.

Between suggestive camis,
hung a Harlow silk dress,
skintight but soft flowing,
like champagne being poured
into a crystal flute—
perhaps, a size too small.
Lisa used to sell this dress,
bought it on sale with her discount.
It stayed in her closet—
the yellowed price tag unremoved
for thrift shop inheritance.
Once in her hand,
the dress vanished.

She saw middle-aged associates,
alive in ’80s glitz—
younger,
reliving their elusive past.
A deceased friend,
dressed in gold and beige,
entered an elevator.
Someone whispered
that her friend was
another breast cancer
survivor.

When the doors closed,
and Sinatra’s song ended,
Lisa was back in bed,
more tired than before.
Daylight savings time
took an hour
to get to the 10th floor.
She reset the alarm for 9 a.m.
gave her mortality
an extra hour
to recoup.

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, Sensitive Skin, 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.