A Soldier’s Prosecco

By Angelica Whitehorne

Cherries splashing into a martini

My mini skirt, a metallic shield. My martini in hand,
a weapon with its tiny spear. I glory cry to a last generation’s
homage of song, remember the fallen, the now mothers with
wreckage hips bound to their front porches.

I don’t belong to anyone, least of all myself.
I open my arms wide like the mini umbrellas
hanging from the glasses. I was never taught any
real dances, formal or cultural, I only know this: bodies
brushing under a neon light, attack and counter,
thwart and block to blend in a melodious bloodshed.

I dance for my honor, I dance to hold this space
from surrender, my tendons brace for impact, for
the playlist’s abrasive pace. Me and the girls
charge forward, wiggling, ready to occupy.

I don’t love anyone, least of all myself. But I have
prepared well. Tint on the lips, my first sacrifice.
I don’t give my body away, but I do loan it sometimes—
to sweetly masked collisions and sweaty palms alike.

I bask in this alcoholic combat. I take a lime wedge
and bite down hard for the pain. Guys are gnats.
I swat them from the battlefield. My real opponent
is the rhythm, is leaving my mind behind for
the supremacy of a body in thoughtless motion.

Everything I was forced to survive in the daytime
and now this last revving conquest. Beat of the frontline
lead forward by the DJ, limbs lost, stomach rolling,
I plunder around appendages, I stake my flag in
stilettos, oscillating and undefeated.

I don’t stop for anything, least of all myself.
My body pleads for pause, and I say not yet,
not until we win a clear victory over the night,
until we wash off every stain from our weekday wars.

And if I fall in combat, don’t build me an alter. Just
come back next weekend, covered in animal print
and leather and dripping jewels. Dedicate the dirtiest
song to me and grind against your grief.

Category: Featured, Poetry