Natalie Shapero
The Envelope, Please

I didn’t have a wedding. I know, I know,

I know.


I up and missed my singular

chance to drift from house

of worship to dance hall and then,

in the late hours, to a diner,

where I’m photographed eating

spicy fries in my fan-back gown,

endearing myself to all

by desecrating my formalwear.


If you want to be really

reckoned with, you have to show

you love something high and

also you love something low.


You have to know that,

in 1910, having taken stock

of the city’s statue glut,

the Municipal Council of Paris

issued a ten-year ban on busts.

And you also must be ready

to name your top three popcorn

comedies in which two moneyed

lovers hump in the rain.


LA doesn’t have its own water,

so you’re looking at

the Colorado River or maybe

Eastern Sierra snowmelt

driving down on the studio lot,

drenching the mock streets

of Prague or the Bowery,

soaking the great mock West.


One day we’ll be so stung

with drought, we’ll watch and say

would it have killed us

to have these assholes kiss on

a cloudless day? That day is now.


Found In Volume 47, No. 05
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Natalie Shapero
About the Author

Natalie Shapero is the author of the poetry collections Hard Child and No Object. She teaches at Tufts University.