Ode to Julie

by Jennifer Perrine

Who claimed she could bend spoons,
and did, twisting them around her wrists,
bracelets that jangled with silver hunger,
their lunettes humping up her arms
like shiny serpents.

Who invited her feminist friends
to topless teatime, which was just as it sounds,
a dozen of us hiding behind our elbows,
strategically holding mugs of chamomile
while Julie read tarot.

Who once borrowed from me
plaid pants she loved so much
that when I asked for them back, she peed
right there, in the street, in my pants,
which I let her keep.

Who laughed when I asked her for a date,
then kissed me so hard I didn’t notice
she never gave me a yes or no, just swung
like Salome down the sidewalk, me licking
her pomegranate gloss.

Jennifer Perrine’s first collection of poems, The Body Is No Machine (New Issues 2007), won the 2008 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry. Her second book, In the Human Zoo (University of Utah Press 2011), received the 2010 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.