THE RED NOTEBOOK
He was a child of chewed-out pencils.
I was a hunter of dust behind bureaus,
under beds, searching for his journal.
I found it one day without locks or guards
at our parents’ house where we’ve become
special guests on holidays and birthdays.
In a drawer among old magazines and records,
the cloistered soul laid in the hunter’s hand,
with its red vinyl binding faded, scratched,
corners curled, pages creased, falling out.
Among forbidden writings I saw a sketch:
a large table in front of a mirror, a little girl
standing on top in full-height, grimacing,
lopsided bow in her hair, a crooked scribble:
Marina is trying on yet another dress. June 1989.
Today is February 2012, snow falling on the
windshield. Distances in miles, years, lifestyles.
He is now a family man of Caran d’Ache pens.
I am a hunter of words, a collector of dresses.
With each meeting we become older, meager.
I brought the journal back, slipped it in between
magazines, locked away the past in a drawer,
took it out again, stuck a piece of bubble gum
on the last page, as a sign of my victory
in Tivoli Gardens
an acrobat is walking
across the Ferris Wheel,
streetlights orange yellow
the shape of topsy-turvy
at the Christiana Commune
they live still thinking it’s the 70’s
Bob Marley hats and purple scarves
and tiny wooden boxes
to stash daisies,
down Kingosgade Briggade
men of financial markets
ride bicycles to work
past monarchies and H&Ms,
their horns – pollution free
at the Denmark Tavern
bartender rings the bell
every time he gets a tip,
calls me foreign princess
offers to slip a pea
under my bed
About Marina Rubin
Marina Rubin’s first chapbook, Ode to Hotels, came out in 2002, followed by Once in 2004 and Logic in 2007. Her work had appeared in hundreds of magazines including 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM, Nano Fiction, Coal City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York where she works as a headhunter on Wall Street while writing her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories. Her website is www.marinarubin.com.