Two Poems by Stacy Skolnik
NEW YEARS IN ITALY
It was a whiskey kind of night and by dawn
I was in the bed of a man 20 years my elder.
He was handsome despite being covered in hair
everywhere except his head.
We didn’t talk much, which could have been
because he didn’t speak English very well,
or because we didn’t have much to say.
He really knew how to kiss though, and had a quick
soft tongue that slipped around mine like a wet little tornado.
He was very tender in the way that only Italians can be tender,
groping and gripping like it was his last night on Earth.
His bed was comfortable and I slept well
under the weight of the blanket and all that booze.
As I hurried out of bed in the morning, he woke up.
I slipped out of his white shirt, back into my black tights,
black dress. It was quiet, too quiet, and he was staring at me
with the eyes of a man who wanted something.
Lacing up my boots, unsympathetic, I asked,
“Do you know what the best thing about America is?
Diners. You know what a diner is?” “No, what?”
“It’s a place where you can get breakfast all day,
every day. Anything you want.” “Oh,” he said.
“How do you like your eggs?” I pushed.
“Someone once told me you can tell a lot about a person
by the way they take their eggs.” He shrugged,
“I don’t know. Any way.”
God dammit. I slept with a bore. Another total fucking bore.
When I got home there was one egg left in the crate.
What the hell, I thought to myself,
this’ll never leave me satisfied. I cracked it open anyway
and it landed in the pan with a “Tssssssssssssss”.
I poured myself a tall glass of orange juice and watched
as the egg sat and sizzled in the pan for a minute or two,
crying like hell inside its own grease.
Then I flipped it. Over,
easy. Just the way I like.
I find the most private
spot on the platform
and piss there. My shoes get wet,
and my panties, too. I can feel it
when I pull them back up.
The trick used to be:
say “unicorn, unicorn, unicorn”
to distract myself
but it never worked. I’d be running home
from school, feeling a small stream
of urine leak into my underwear
with every heavy step I took.
Unicorn. Unicorn. Unicorn.
Now I take short cuts,
find privacy in public places,
piss on the platform.
I was wet then
like I’m wet now.
Some things never change.
Currently pursuing an MFA from Brooklyn College, Stacy Skolnik works in publishing and is a volunteer at the Bowery Poetry Club. Her poetry and criticism can be found on various sites such as the KGB Bar Lit Magazine, Josephine Quarterly, the Poet in New York, and others.