Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Cynthia, or, A barmaid’s night (no. 55 of Women’s names sensual series) by Carrie Magness Radna

Darting glances across the restaurant,

she wanted to be consumed tonight

by any old man,

she chose the wrong one,

a sorry-ass son

dressed in black, swigging Chardonnay.

She had little else

besides her luck and instinct;

wiping down the bar

the thousandth time,

she wore down a smile

that could cut through smoke— 

Seeing thirty in the rearview mirror,

loneliness had often choked her.

She was grateful for his

constant attention at 3 am,

but he had kissed her off 

far too early in the morning;

he left without leaving

a good-bye Post-it note.   

Bleary, weary for another good-night’s sleep, 

now an impossibility in these 

harried, hazy nights, while

earning her keep In New York City,

serving more patrons their chosen lubricants,

saving her heart for the highest bidder.  

Carrie Magness Radna is an audiovisual cataloger at New York Public Library, a choral singer and a poet who loves traveling. Her poems have previously appeared in The Oracular Tree, Mediterranean Poetry, Muddy River Poetry Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poetry Super Highway, Polarity eMagazine, Walt’s Corner, The Poetic Bond (VIII & IX), First Literary Review-East and Jerry Jazz Musician. Her first chapbook, Conversations with dead composers at Carnegie Hall (Flutter Press) was published in January 2019, and her self-published chapbook, Remembering you as I go walking (Boxwood Star Press) was published in August 2019. Her first poetry collection, Hurricanes never apologize (Luchador Press) was published in December 2019. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, she lives with her husband in Manhattan.


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