At the club I finally make it to the front of the line

by Sofie Verraest



© Barnabás Neogrády - Kiss 2020


have you paid, ever, front-row tickets when really

you didn’t have the money, ever

in your brief history have you – asked

at the entry to the club the massive bouncer –

had the bitter chocolate sweet orange after pain

or pleasure carved the hole in you of hunger


you look pretty, honey, don’t get me

wrong, I like your skirt your short earrings your twins

of twinkling eyes, but – asked the bouncer who

was like those houses on the coast not houses but

stone dark caves cut from the cliff in which

the cliff reveals itself and shows

a deep stony nature –


but have you waited longer, ever, than your patience

for the gift of your life? because you look pretty, made-

moiselle, I’d say things to you in the street

cavernous and dark, but this here (a thumb

thrown over his shoulder) this place the way it’s

sunk below the last layer of bone and bone

dust, I don’t know, it’s true you look

cute but the stone here is all (he

knocks it) mineral


so, have you – asked the bouncer finally,

asked his toes now, asked the air – this

place, have you ever imagined it flat, the seas

would cry right off, have you – asked

the bouncer, asked me like a man

on the coast and stared up past my shoulder

at the rough of the rock and the stony night –

have you – asked his stony eyes, mouth a deep

cave – have you – swallowed one stone

after another so it got hard

to hear his final word – girl?