You Can Tell a Fable About Yourself

You look in the mirror one day, and there you are,
a sad joke in your curlers and cold cream, and
it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing your uniform
or your dress and hat for going to town or,
like now, a baby-blue nightgown and robe.
It doesn’t matter anymore what you wear,
even though you have a nominal boyfriend
who’s always working or going bowling,
his hands always cold from meat. Dead flesh
is all you are, or may as well be, except
you can still keep a whole house running
with very little help other than, on occasion,
the pretty woman of the house, there
to stir the pots. You can tell a fable
about yourself, sing a song, make a face,
give the advice that solves the problem,
now or 23 minutes from now, not next week.

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