Callista Markotich | YOU ARE NOT

Pygmalion, one arm draped across the cool white shoulder of Galatea,
the other hand dangling a martini glass, or maybe, in sensual fingers,
a cigarette in a holder. He rivets attention forever, her enduring form
endorsing his obsession. O, he compels, he scintillates.

But you are empty, a wreck in word-weary drear. Your head is a bristle
of simile spikes, your feet stuck in the suck of quick-fix haikus.
She’s gone. You dismissed her, detached tiny flick of your finger: Goodbye.
Elsewhere perhaps, eyes will widen, lips whisper rapt,

whisper aloud your last and best poem. But you.
Little lexical items flutter/blunder/
little night-moths powder you greige

… cosset/dulcet/velvet/vivant/
how does a dull poet get through the night?
Moonset a shimmering conduit across the water
Sunrise a neon nosegay

New love is possible.
You’re lit with it

Callista Markotich, retired Superintendent of Education, lives gratefully on traditional homelands of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat in Kingston, Ontario. Her poems are published in Canadian, American and British reviews and quarterlies and have received First Place Awards (Room (2019, 2021, Arc Awesomeness, Second Prizes (2022 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest, 2022 CAA – Toronto Poetry Contest) and have been nominated for 2022 Pushcart and National Magazine awards. She is a contributing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine.