Bijou This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I was a drunken libertine

making my bed each morning above a beauty store

that catered to harridans and fishwives.

She was my bijou.

I had a background of concrete and chain-link,

She had a background of grass and barbeques.

At 21 (that mythical age of thrill)

I was feeding my soul on cigarettes and cheap beer,

And a coffeehouse and a gallery and a park

were the only three things between me and a headstone.

She would drink the orange juice straight from the carton

and jog a mile or two in sweatpants she had had since high school

because all of it made her laugh.

She would mix things up,

twist words around

'til the world seemed good.

I existed, at certain moments, in the back of bars and theaters

She loved at Saturday night poker games

and in bowling alleys.

Maybe it was those rental shoes ...

She was my bijou.

For her I was a well-versed scapegrace,

I was her dashing tatterdemalion.

For her I could make subway schedules into Shakespeare

and graffiti into Michelangelo.

We took catnaps,

brief moments of casual oblivion.

(but precious)

We lunched in my rathole,

We feasted in her farmhouse-castle.

Her places were bright; out of crayon boxes,

Mine were grey and neon.

But she choked on the neon

and got lost in the grey.

She ran back,

wrote smiles to me,

but she couldn't breath my air.

I was just grown-up guttersnipe.

She was a gorgeous rube.

We stood and leaned ourselves together in the back of bookshops.

She believed the fairy stories,

I believed the photo books,

and she was my bijou.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

fadingaway1324 said...
Jan. 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm
beautiful, i didn't understand the words but i understood the feeling. Thats all that matters.
shikyoyome This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm
I quite enjoyed reading this. Thank you for writing it. It's interesting that you chose the term "bijou" over "jewel".
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