Mia Sara Writes

Where to find Mia Sara:
Erstwhile actress, chief cook and bottle washer, native New Yorker, amateur mother, professional poet.
Ride
 
Wherever it was I thought I was 
going, 
I guess, by now, I’ve already been.
I need a subway token, a mystery 
novel, 
and a buttered bagel in a brown paper 
bag.
I need a better excuse to get a tattoo.
I’m thinking about ink, and how it 
bleeds,
and the way we use it to see what we 
mean.
 
A token, a turnstile, a possible ride on 
the 
cross-town shuttle as it tucks its tail 
and 
leaps the rails. Going through the 
motions 
takes so much time. 
 
The ride is the riddle, the unclaimed 
gift.
The dirty teacup my son left in the 
sink.
 
I want to believe in not being noticed.
I want to remember, I want to forget;
 
The hours I’ve wasted, the dimes I’ve spent,
the anger I’ve fed with a silver spoon 
while my 
daughter, in the green lizard T shirt, 
and torn
up jeans, the knees gaping, runs from my 
voice; 
an unspooled thread I must catch in 
my fist.
 
That’s the lost ticket, the unseen map;
the thing I am doing, when I’m doing 
my best;
just riding it out, the turns I take, the 
tracks 
I make with my two front teeth on the 
skin of the first peach of Summer. 
 
 
 

 

Ride

 

Wherever it was I thought I was

going,

I guess, by now, I’ve already been.

I need a subway token, a mystery

novel,

and a buttered bagel in a brown paper

bag.

I need a better excuse to get a tattoo.

I’m thinking about ink, and how it

bleeds,

and the way we use it to see what we

mean.

 

A token, a turnstile, a possible ride on

the

cross-town shuttle as it tucks its tail

and

leaps the rails. Going through the

motions

takes so much time.

 

The ride is the riddle, the unclaimed

gift.

The dirty teacup my son left in the

sink.

 

I want to believe in not being noticed.

I want to remember, I want to forget;

 

The hours I’ve wasted, the dimes I’ve spent,

the anger I’ve fed with a silver spoon

while my

daughter, in the green lizard T shirt,

and torn

up jeans, the knees gaping, runs from my

voice;

an unspooled thread I must catch in

my fist.

 

That’s the lost ticket, the unseen map;

the thing I am doing, when I’m doing

my best;

just riding it out, the turns I take, the

tracks

I make with my two front teeth on the

skin of the first peach of Summer.

 

 

 

 

Beauty
 
This bird has flown, this bird has flown,
unmanned killer drone,
that I have worn these
forty-six years, in my hair;
crown of thorns, crown of stone.
 
Beauty, I will survive you.
I release you, frenemy.
Faulty economy of lips and thighs,
tricked-out bubble machine,
wither, you styrofoam cupcake.
 
I’ve chewed clean through the bit.
Tasting blood, I pulled you further.
I thought you were my mother.
Wrong, wrong, always wrong,
just the junk for my habit, all along.
 
On padded backseats, crashed at the bar.
On tipsy balconies, and shuttered rooms.
I tested, taunted, splayed you out.
Rode you hard, and shot as far as 
you could take me.
 
O’ floating Isle, O’ floating Isle
the bridge is down. I’ll cross no more.
My lipstick bleeds.
I squint to focus the glittering shore.
I think I am an orphan.
 
I know I am an orphan.
My ribs show through my borrowed dress
from this heavy grip, packed when I was young. 
An orphan, yes, but I refuse to starve. 
I’ll snack on the crumbs you knocked from my tongue.
 
The hawkers are silent at last.
I cast no shadow at noon.
Unnoticed, I probe the wreckage alone.
Those muscular fish I caught in your trap,
picked down to the clean white bone.
 
Beauty, cruel mistress,
your dummy has come undone.
I don’t ask your forgiveness.
I bear my own witness, 
for what is still to come.
 
Slack, slack, slack.
Loosen your grip. Don’t look back.
I won’t come crawling.
Cover your tracks.
I’ll keep my scars. I’ll give you your strap.
 
A weapon, a weapon
we all want a weapon,
the cinch and the whip
on shivering flesh.
No pleasure we take without pain.
 
This ill-gotten gain,
we are destined to lose.
I have too many shoes,
but none to fit
the shape of my fear.
 
False idol, I’m done reciting.
I’m not your puppet,
I do the writing.
My love is the knife, to cut you down to size.
I’ve trapped you forever, 
in my children’s eyes.
 
 
 

 

 

 

Beauty

 

This bird has flown, this bird has flown,

unmanned killer drone,

that I have worn these

forty-six years, in my hair;

crown of thorns, crown of stone.

 

Beauty, I will survive you.

I release you, frenemy.

Faulty economy of lips and thighs,

tricked-out bubble machine,

wither, you styrofoam cupcake.

 

I’ve chewed clean through the bit.

Tasting blood, I pulled you further.

I thought you were my mother.

Wrong, wrong, always wrong,

just the junk for my habit, all along.

 

On padded backseats, crashed at the bar.

On tipsy balconies, and shuttered rooms.

I tested, taunted, splayed you out.

Rode you hard, and shot as far as

you could take me.

 

O’ floating Isle, O’ floating Isle

the bridge is down. I’ll cross no more.

My lipstick bleeds.

I squint to focus the glittering shore.

I think I am an orphan.

 

I know I am an orphan.

My ribs show through my borrowed dress

from this heavy grip, packed when I was young.

An orphan, yes, but I refuse to starve.

I’ll snack on the crumbs you knocked from my tongue.

 

The hawkers are silent at last.

I cast no shadow at noon.

Unnoticed, I probe the wreckage alone.

Those muscular fish I caught in your trap,

picked down to the clean white bone.

 

Beauty, cruel mistress,

your dummy has come undone.

I don’t ask your forgiveness.

I bear my own witness,

for what is still to come.

 

Slack, slack, slack.

Loosen your grip. Don’t look back.

I won’t come crawling.

Cover your tracks.

I’ll keep my scars. I’ll give you your strap.

 

A weapon, a weapon

we all want a weapon,

the cinch and the whip

on shivering flesh.

No pleasure we take without pain.

 

This ill-gotten gain,

we are destined to lose.

I have too many shoes,

but none to fit

the shape of my fear.

 

False idol, I’m done reciting.

I’m not your puppet,

I do the writing.

My love is the knife, to cut you down to size.

I’ve trapped you forever,

in my children’s eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Collector
 
She collects things in pairs,
has puppies on the brain
and worms in her hands.
If not worms, then ladybugs,
or even snails. She can spot
tiny lizards, half hidden beneath 
seed pods from 20 feet away.
And often, as a last resort, when no
creature can be found for comfort,
she becomes one herself, pawing 
the ground, snuffling and baying.
She has even cosied rocks,
arranging them into families, and
the viscous slug she holds out to me,
an angry welt on her rosy palm,
needs another to complete it.
“So slug can have love, Mommy,” she says.
If I buy her the puppy, a pelted surrogate,
dig hard in the garden for a brace
of fat worms to keep in a jar,
will that satisfy her need?
Or will I have to bear her 
loneliness, her desire to return
where I can no longer carry her.

 

The Collector

 

She collects things in pairs,

has puppies on the brain

and worms in her hands.

If not worms, then ladybugs,

or even snails. She can spot

tiny lizards, half hidden beneath

seed pods from 20 feet away.

And often, as a last resort, when no

creature can be found for comfort,

she becomes one herself, pawing

the ground, snuffling and baying.

She has even cosied rocks,

arranging them into families, and

the viscous slug she holds out to me,

an angry welt on her rosy palm,

needs another to complete it.

“So slug can have love, Mommy,” she says.

If I buy her the puppy, a pelted surrogate,

dig hard in the garden for a brace

of fat worms to keep in a jar,

will that satisfy her need?

Or will I have to bear her

loneliness, her desire to return

where I can no longer carry her.

The Lucky One
 
On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,
My grandmother sits in the rec-room, 
sewing me a slip. The venetian blinds permit a greenish light, 
so it must be Montclair New Jersey; 
light as cool as her old Frigidaire.
I don’t like to mention that I never wear skirts.
Her knuckles are swollen with leftovers, 
But she’s very good with the scissors. She snips coupons 
for dead sisters “, ‘Cause ya still gotta eat.”
She was always the lucky one.
 
On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,
My sister pins a photo of our father to the inside of her slip.
It’s going to draw blood, blood the color of the roses in her hair. 
I help her to walk down the aisle, every step is a calculated miss.
Soon, she’s going to shed her flesh and fly away.
It’s a girl thing. She can’t win, but if she did
she’d have to be the lucky one.
 
On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,
I treat all the sisters to manicures at the mall,
nails the color of gravestones. I could finally let my hair down, 
but I cut it off. Everyone’s getting along, they’re so chatty,
The dead aunties laugh at my sister’s jokes, and
I have to tell them when it’s time to go, or we’d all be stuck 
at Paramus Park forever, that cauldron for cut-rate alchemies,
no finer place to transmutate the losses.
 
On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,
my mother removes paintings from the wall of the hotel room in Paris. 
Her slip is showing and the Eiffel Tower, tall and gray 
is standing at the window, singing a chanson with top hat and tails,
but she doesn’t notice. Some romance. She steps back to admire her work,
all the empty places. Her masterpiece.
 
On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment
My sister and I fly to Rome. She’s not afraid to keep me company.
The traffic is streaming all around us, it’s time to visit the ruins.
We consult a map and look just like tourists. She checks first one way, 
then the other. She takes my hand and pulls me in. Way to go, Kiddo, 
how to be the lucky one.

The Lucky One

 

On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,

My grandmother sits in the rec-room,

sewing me a slip. The venetian blinds permit a greenish light,

so it must be Montclair New Jersey;

light as cool as her old Frigidaire.

I don’t like to mention that I never wear skirts.

Her knuckles are swollen with leftovers,

But she’s very good with the scissors. She snips coupons

for dead sisters “, ‘Cause ya still gotta eat.”

She was always the lucky one.

 

On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,

My sister pins a photo of our father to the inside of her slip.

It’s going to draw blood, blood the color of the roses in her hair.

I help her to walk down the aisle, every step is a calculated miss.

Soon, she’s going to shed her flesh and fly away.

It’s a girl thing. She can’t win, but if she did

she’d have to be the lucky one.

 

On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,

I treat all the sisters to manicures at the mall,

nails the color of gravestones. I could finally let my hair down,

but I cut it off. Everyone’s getting along, they’re so chatty,

The dead aunties laugh at my sister’s jokes, and

I have to tell them when it’s time to go, or we’d all be stuck

at Paramus Park forever, that cauldron for cut-rate alchemies,

no finer place to transmutate the losses.

 

On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment,

my mother removes paintings from the wall of the hotel room in Paris.

Her slip is showing and the Eiffel Tower, tall and gray

is standing at the window, singing a chanson with top hat and tails,

but she doesn’t notice. Some romance. She steps back to admire her work,

all the empty places. Her masterpiece.

 

On the lip of the bottomless abyss of disappointment

My sister and I fly to Rome. She’s not afraid to keep me company.

The traffic is streaming all around us, it’s time to visit the ruins.

We consult a map and look just like tourists. She checks first one way,

then the other. She takes my hand and pulls me in. Way to go, Kiddo,

how to be the lucky one.