1 poem 

by Alexa Smith

Alexa Smith is a Philadelphia-based poet by way of D.C. and Pittsburgh. She works for an independent medical publisher by day, and serves as Editorial Director of Apiary Magazine by night. You can find her work on Entropy Magazine, Apiarymagazine.com, Billy Penn, and her mom's refrigerator.

POP ART

 

Should be pop­u­lar, tran­sient, expend­able, low-cost, mass-produced,

young, witty, sexy, gim­micky, glam­orous, and big business – R Hamilton

 

went to PMA w/ F & swooned

at tiny chrome tomatoes sliced

on silver lettuce bed, swayed

underfed and reverent @ hem

 

of slipscreen holograph Liz Taylor:

mid-step in spectral sheath w/

strike-eyed poise of hunting cats

& hunted women, reigning over

 

staircase in state of emergence like

Duchamp’s nude posing pre-prom,

bleached flashbulb dazzling dire white

then died & turned Grey Lady house ghost,

 

funny what clothes make people think

about our souls, at the exit there was

a rack of raincoats splashed against

a garish wall all very bright white red blue

 

w/ transparent veins embroidered thru

& one was covered in laughing cow

heads, cute & alarming, later I spill red

on S & the staircase steps then go drink

 

more @ C’s & she says “YOU DON’T

EVEN KNOW HOW HOT YOU ARE”

which she’s said before, but I do know

I think, just hoard it close inside like sweet

 

juicy red deep inside little chrome tomato,

wrapped in silver leaves & ghosts of

fashionable souls, it is for me the red

inside my little viscous seeds & not

 

for everyone but so many everyones

fog the glass hopefully so always I am

siphoning, sliding single red tickets

through window slots, spooning samples

 

of tomato ice cream out of shiny scraped

chrome vats, spilling drops becomes anemic

habit must procure a scary raincoat so the stains

can be laughed off like trickling, later I am told

 

there have been whole conversations

re: how: I DON’T KNOW HOW HOT I AM,

is this how Liz felt? Probably – I love that story

of her & Cliff: how she ghosted her own

 

gala & ran to wreck in spoiled gown,

reached into her own C’s throat & pulled

his bloody teeth out one by one, harvesting

little viscous seeds when they were wrapped

 

around a tree the red inside the sliced chrome

car (I too have served as canopy & teeth, but

wore no white tie), & I think that’s what really

makes her sexy, not the backless dress but

 

the manicured hand plunging down bestie’s

desperate esophagus, of course it’s what

we do in trauma that makes us haute later –

everyone wants to reach inside survivor souls

 

b/c you can see the red beating through

transparent veins tracing what was

cracked open & grappled & healed,

& this is coveted, cute & alarming

 

after all the POP we left descending rocky

steps & I said goodbye to F & chased

chrome ghosts w red number routes & rode

one w/ wine soaked secret in the dark part

 

of my dress, & later C got sick & splashed

garish echoes on thin walls, & when she

curled up on silver bed & said “don’t

take care of me,” I felt a backless stab

 

& swooned

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