in this story...


by Lisa Marie Basile

in this story,
there is the me
but not me
the me before breaking
& look, there’s my father.
do you smell that?

it’s summer cologne & old gin cupboards.
a cream-colored dawn


let me really set the scene for you:
in youth I was so beautiful whole houses
shut their mouths. when I came,
barefoot, to stand on porches
dropping to my knees at the window
to watch my father & Sofia recklessly
their polaroid pornography
on that plastic couch:
coral walls       ice cream      organ song.

the only thing the body knows of desire
is its surroundings.


so beautiful that my hair unbraids itself, unraveling
as stray pearls on the nightstand
which roll eventually
to land in your lap

& look up at you as a girl gagging on cock.


we drive a pale cherry Buick Riviera,
his golden hair wrapped in bandana
and me?      I’m in poly-blend ivory & damp
smoking and coughing, the shame
smell in backseats crawling up
into me forever
how will this ever unhaunt me?
rain perpetually at my window,
[on his side, aureate]
& he smiles white as though it were his birthday.


he was born in 1960 and stinks of it:
a golden-gilded-framed fatherthing
with his foot on the brake
his foot on the brake
with a Marlboro hanging


when I blink a photograph emerges.

later I will use this image
to construct my lovers
& build my entire life.

I will say, do you drive a buick?
and they will say no and I will say
do you make music? and they will say no
and I will say
will you leave me
and they will say no
and I will go


later we’re at the electric tower
where I am in stiletto amaretto
for an older boy who likes pigtails
and tries to make me wear them,
the engine humming
me wearing pigtails.

I like to think it has one thousand rhinestones inside
& I am sucking off his triumph
spitting it out, & wiping
it off,
feeling the possession of summer
down my neck, down hanging out the window
with my small magenta mouth
thinking hard

of our childhood beach-house
me sitting on their laps,
lapping them up.

About the Author:

Lisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHAL (Noctuary Press, 2014) and a chapbook, Andalucia. She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and her poetry and other work can be read in PANK, Tin House’s blog, Coldfront, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, Dusie, and the Ampersand Review, among others. She’s recently been profiled in The New York Daily News, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Poets & Artists Magazine, Relapse Magazine and others. She’s included in the Best Small Fiction 2015 and Best Emerging Poets anthologies and holds an MFA from The New School.