You’re Not a Girl in a Movie

by HALA ALYAN

 

 

Like white electric tapeworms wriggling across
the dark sky,

each firework is followed by another. The third day of July,
seven years ago now,

I woke up naked in my bed. He said his name was Barry. He was Irish, surly,
he texted me during the fireworks to say he had a wife,

that this was an indiscretion, he should stop following girls to bad bars.
I was older then, if that makes sense.

I was already sixty, and resigned to the nasty animal of me.
I hated gin. I drank gin.

(I tried to be decent. You wanted my body, so take it.)

It was still possible to move to California then and I wrote that down,
in the margins of a notebook,

California?, like I was trying it on, a floral sundress in the wrong weather.

Everyone wants a rock bottom. Some Icarus shit.

But the truth is some holes keep going, yawning, heady, one mistake
becomes three:

there’s always a dark darker than the dark you know.