Misha Lazarra: a poem



pale silver of dusk


I wanted to rent out my room

and move faraway to the beach

to bartend and wear only

a little clothing

an old boyfriend told me

on a walk through the woods

that his wife would never have to work

what if she wants to? I asked

shivering in the winter wind

he never did have an answer for that

a collage of old photos danced

drunk and stumbling

in culturally inappropriate attire

something pink and beaded

a homemade tow-headed halo

shedding plastic feathers

crushed by stumbling feet

I smiled belligerently so much then

I am no angel

have no right

to moonlight in their glow

true, there is a certain risk

that belongs to being a woman

[who wants]

in dating several men at once

and wanting

[none of them]

in a house full of strangers I pretended

to puzzle together one thousand broken pieces

in too dim a light my eyes strained

in that relentless

mess of thousandths

I stepped out into a twilight

no shades of champagne or juniper blue

a grey transition towards the neighbour

flatfoot and faceless

because even angels get lonely

the streetlight shone into a garage party

a meek wave on the brink of too small

[too desperate]

he offered only a patronising half-smile

the kind that makes a woman shiver, cold

in the pale silver of dusk



Misha Lazzara is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared on poets.org, in Entropy and frak/ture journal and is forthcoming in more. She was the winner of the Academy of American Poets University Prize 2020 at NCSU. You can find more of her writing here: mishalazzara.com