My indulgence into class pretention may prove fatal

Kathleen Dusenbery


I’ll be lucky if I can buy food
the rest of this month. My true religion,
which had rested on a coach
carrying gilded figurines of bacchus,
is now devoid of personality. We reveled
almost every evening and guzzled kir royales,
ate moschino cherries and luscious burberries.
Rock out & republic, I said. Until prawns
began to crawl out from beneath the floorboards.
Now everyday I see Mr. Guccione
come to collect the rent as I crouch
behind the dior, I a dust shadow
emergent into that triangular space.
I suppose givenchy he will see me
and drag me out, shake my dusty
limbs for the neighbors’ watch, but it’s pradable
that by then I won’t know the difference
between day and night. I’ve taken inventory
of my possessions and it seems I can count
my friends seven for all mankind
if I can still count them at all.


I haven’t the gaultier to admit my bank account’s
in the red and so are the eyes of the repo men
come to collect the flat screen and my baccarat
crystal pool. All that’s left in the lagerfield
are breadcrumbs and a half gone jar of peanut butter.
We used to play Versace ball in the courtyard—
but lately it’s been a crashpad for local teenagers
looking to chug robitussin & pass out. I am still balenciaga
on the fine line between the haves and the have nots,
but really these days I know despite my clothes
I am so poor I can see the floor through my hand.
It’s time I made the French connection to the other half
(from which I was borne, I admit), bouncing
from each Escher level down into Mr. Abercrombie’s
garden, where he stands with pruning shears
in hand. A fitch darts about the bird bath and down into dust
as the target rises, the morning sun.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790