by Leopoldine Core

Lindsay Lohan
 did Marilyn Monroe
 for Playboy
 and I think the word classic was used.

I said no.
 I said creature.

Hugh Hefner didn’t like her beauty

which I think of
 as bratty and ripe.

I read something about her
 penisy labia
 in a magazine

and I pictured it.

I saw
 a thin white
 in my room.

Her udders
 and the big
 cat’s smile
 between her

 is maybe


I say maybe
 it’s just how I talk

though all the time
 I’m certain of things.

I see the creature
 crawling toward me

I see the love
 in my own mouth

like milk.

I can’t stop looking at her.
 I think this is what it is

to be a bisexual
 and an addict.

You just get the shit kicked out of you.

You get to bask
 in the old milk
 of Marilyn Monroe.

White sun washes white
 over the room.

A car passes.

Is it white light or black light that fills the set of our eyes when we die?

I think it is instead red
 but really its brown.

It is the color of all our pumping guts in darkness.
 Every color breathing in the room of your head.

So much makes me think of death
 some baroque picnic

garlands of meat
 Lindsay’s feet

her toes those
 fat white grapes
 pouring off
 my computer.

 these aren’t seductive pictures.
 I mean I’m obsessed with them

but they aren’t seductive.

She doesn’t have a secret
 or anything.

She has a working class glimmer
 which is actually
 the opposite
 of glimmer.

It is an object that no longer shines.

Sooty window of
 a factory
 and the beautiful

is open.

What happens when you work your whole life?

You are lamby
 blue collar


You just become
 a candle.

That’s it.

Leopoldine Core is the author of the chapbook Young Friend and the poetry collection Veronica Bench. She is the recipient of a 2015 Whiting award for fiction, as well as fellowships from The Center for Fiction and The Fine Arts Work Center. Her collection of stories When Watched will be out next year from Penguin. She lives in New York City.

Like what you read? Give Haley Mlotek a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.