ISSUE 6: WINTER 2017 / POETRY

“Infidelity: A Love Song” by Korey Hurni

Whenever I listen to pop music I am reminded that I am nothing
more than what I am, a fawn of a man

like a blown-out speaker whose creation myth always re-begins
the night before, born emasculated in a bathtub filled with gin

wearing headphones blaring Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug,”
born hipless strutting what I got, a born bastard or however

you want to imagine me, born a fatalist at the start of a chorus
trying to love you in the only way I know or can:

like a love song, the kind of music that leaves a bitter taste
of quinine in your mouth – I could have killed malaria

with these lips – music that made me as much “in love”
as I wished you were, even as we argued it through the shape

of desire, asking me if I was just horny, if she was beautiful,
and all I could do was try and hold you, miming “Oh!

Darling” as it roared from some back room in my mind,
whispering I’ll never do you no harm until incoherence

overwhelmed our lives and we became two strangers
staring into a display window of our respective lives at that brief occasional

moment when the mannequin actually reminds us of our self,
our impossible self, all posture, composed and unreachable,

admirable for its isolation, with its every possibility known and certain,
thus forgivable, yet all the while knowing we can’t be that,

because what is desire but a return to the actual.
This is why I thought you as an Eileen

when we first met, you wore that yellow dress that made my thoughts verge,
where I pulled you around the dance floor singing, come on,

back when I thought there was love in unhooking
a bra with one hand, when I thought love was made to forget

that everything beautiful is momentary
and that anything momentary is equally what is and what will never

be again. I did not yet believe in that gravity
we put on memory. This was not the style of life

I imagined for myself, not in this orbital melody
of a love song: “I” this, “I” that, this pop music,

all on repeat, hear it bumpin’ like a countdown,
Queen B grindin’. What delusion out of desperation, wanting

you to lay all your love on me even when I prized a sort of carelessness
or truth, the difference between the appearing spectacle

of the moon and its more approximate dullness. I would tell myself
for months after that I couldn’t admit anything

because some part of me still wanted to see you laughing in my own version
of “Purple Rain.” I often daydreamt of playing that guitar, wailing

the way Prince did when he played the Super Bowl,
of being a spectacle, exalted, adorned, burning holy

as though reentering the atmosphere, redefining glory
even though you think of me as you think of me,

and even though there is no dignity to be made of this now.

 


Korey Hurni was born and raised in Lansing, MI, and recently earned his MFA at Western Michigan University where he served as poetry editor for Third Coast.


 

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