Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ally Malinenko- Three Poems

“I Knew I Was Becoming an American,” Said an Iranian Woman, “When I Wanted to Have Time to Myself.”

Tell me, I ask him,
stretched out in bed.
What does a young American woman look like?
He cocks an eyebrow and
puts down the post sex
glass of wine I poured.

He sighs.
Blonde, he says.
Yoga Pants
Starbucks coffee in one hand.
Thin, of course.

Of course, I add.

Her cell phone
in the other all the time.
Those thumbs working frantically.

What about an older American woman?

Why? he asks.
I’m just curious, I say,
being myself not young
but not yet that old

Mom jeans, he says.
Midwestern accent
Bad hair.
On her cell phone
all the time.
Those thumbs working frantically.

Lonely? I wonder.
But before I can ask he says,
I don’t know.
I don’t know anything about women
and I don’t know anything about this country.

 Not to Be Happy Is Not Just a Misfortune, It Is a Failure

the man
on the subway tells me.
Pretty girl like you,
what you got
to be
smiling about?

It’s the least
you can do, he tells me,
For the rest of us.

The Homeless Situation Is a Shameful One for America

It hasn’t been that long that he’s been out here, alone.
He pushes the cart full of dirty cans
onto the subway. It is fall in NYC
and the tourist go quiet as soon as they seem him struggle to get the wheel over
the lip of the train floor before the doors close.

And when he succeeds he lays his head back against the metal
and closes his eyes, weary from pushing and pulling tin.

His hair is long, but not too long
and the dirt under his nails might only be a few
months old.

His sweatshirt is dotted with sweat and beer
and soda stains from tipping over and shaking out
so many aluminum and plastic cans,

full of so much sugar that we pump into ourselves
because we, as Americans, can do whatever we want.

The train lurches and the cart rolls forward
just bumping the pretty blonde in a tight college sweatshirt from Arkansas,
who shrieks
as if it were his hands
his nails
his poverty
and not a plastic
bag full of rotten soda cans
that touched her skin.

Bio: Ally Malinenko has been writing poems and stories for awhile. Occasionally she gets them published. Her first book of poems, The Wanting Bone was published by Six Gallery Press and her novel for children Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb was published by Antenna Press. She lives in the part of Brooklyn the tour buses don't come to.

No comments:

Post a Comment