Curse of the Bad Purse Gift from Issue 91/92
Even your boss buys you one, bless her
black heart, and good sports like yourself,
good office politicians, gracefully make do.
A purse is perhaps too personal
to select for another, akin to picking
an every-day bra or fearless panty
from the scratchy, wispy, whimsy
of the shopping cornfields. Take
the size or strap length, for instance—no,
take the color, please. Nothing you own
goes with it, and nothing you’ll ever own
ever will. Oh, those hot, shiny, brassy
shades of the clan of loud and bold;
the unconscious message of the gift-giver
hinting that your true-blue mousiness
secretly begs for hyperbole. I predict
that tonight you and the bag will wrestle
like punks over possession of a set of keys
sunk in the black guts of its bottomless.
You’ll be stressed. I’ll hear you shout,
I know you have them, you dragon-bastard!
Afterwards you’ll look down at the raw
scratches on your hands from the teeth
of the stylish zippers across the hundred
pockets of hell, the pockets that could
convince anyone her memory is going.
And so you’ll go on, coping with pleather
and vinyl dysfunction. Always a good girl,
you were raised to carry whatever cross
or purse is given with gratitude for the gift.