Lines for a Hero
after Cate Marvin
I am curled at the bottom of a champagne flute.
I am stuck through like a cocktail olive.
I am straining his gin from my underwear
in the July heat, his evaporating breath, this
little blue cloud of burns. He left me
in the rubble of lost collar stays, pinched
between the closet walls, muttering dryly.
I am trying to slither away from his lines.
I am peeling his voice away. He wanted
something young and wise, an instrument, some
handsome strings. With his Brazilian surgeries,
his tan lines, his stock photos dressed
in black frames. I am less than my hero,
un-golden, tongue-tied. I did not like
his one-liners, how I hung long
on his pillow like a bad dream. He didn’t like
my hairy feet, my cigarettes, how I could coil
like a python in sleep, my cold, my grinding song.
Robert Campbell lives in Lexington, Kentucky. His poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, River Styx, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is an MFA candidate at Murray State University and holds an MS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. He serves as Reference and Instruction Librarian at Transylvania University and Reviews Editor at DIALOGIST, an online journal of poetry and art.