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Poems
Hugging The Jukebox
(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Hugging The Jukebox

Poem By Naomi Shihab Nye

Drawing eyes for myself is all well and good, but
the gel eyeliner pencil is called Smudge and this is
what it does, smudges a dark sad sheen with a hint
of sleepless nights in purple sacks below my eyes

Making me look like a vampire with bad make-up
technique or an addict after a night in a heroin den,
I can see my eyes but it's not an encouraging sight,
this might the last time I try - unless someone

Assures me the look of weltschmerz is becoming,
reminding of Violetta's long-drawn-out end-scene
demise in La Traviata, even resembling Goethe's
Faust's Gretchen in prison - now I look as sombre

As the Mona Lisa without the strange half-smile
Da Vinci used to create the illusion her mouth is
moving, I have changed into the Gothic Morticia
of the Addams Family with smudged blackness

Around my eyes - guess I'd rather have no eyes
than floating around looking Gothic all the time

[12 August 2014]

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