STILL NOT HAPPY by Chloe Caldwell

Amazing girlfriend, ugly lover, still not happy.
That is what you wrote in inky blue pen inside your journal that I was
reading after you’d left for San Francisco.
Your amazing girlfriend was in D.C. to give a lecture on art history.
I was the ugly lover left in Manhattan.
Cozy on your bed, my thighs sore from sex
(my eyes sore from the sentence)
reading your private thoughts
smoking your pot
and eating your leftover colored Easter eggs.
I’d always assumed I was your beautiful lover.
Now I was nauseated---
Your livid lover.
Finding out you are not pretty is similar to
finding out Santa Clause doesn’t exist
or you won’t be a famous hip hop dancer,
Broadway star,
or writer, after all
I hurled your maroon journal straightforward as hard as I could.
I hated your maroon journal; I hated your maroon sweatshirt;
I hated you.
The journal knocked down the blue glass holding the single daffodil
I’d picked for you
Earlier that morning we’d both agreed the contrast of the royal blue
and lush yellow was just right
We'd looked at each other, happy with our masterpiece, in love.
Now I wanted to take the daffodil back
I wanted to burn your journals and smash your bongs
Suddenly I hated that you had the money to live in the East village and I had
to live in condemned apartments in Brooklyn with broken toilets.
I never told you about my insufficient funds.
You never told me you thought I was ugly.
I put on your maroon sweatshirt with the hood over my head and left
I walked around alphabet city with headphones on listening to Blood on
the Tracks.
No one would bum me a cigarette because I was ugly
I climbed the stairs back into your 9th street apartment
Defeated, depressed
Thinking about how cigarettes make you uglier, anyway.
Your cat with the ear infection, Moochie LaRue, had vomited on the
checkered floor
I had this idea of smashing the hard-boiled eggs into it with my Doc
Marten and creating a vomit egg salad.
Then smearing it onto the keys of your typewriter
and onto your maroon moleskin.
But I cleaned it up because I loved you.
I slept sad in your bed without you.
I woke up to a rainstorm.
Stole some quarters off of your dresser to get a coffee across the street.
The barista gave me bad service because I am ugly.
I sat on your stairs drinking coffee listening to Blood on the Tracks.
I was trying to look pretty during my pity party.
The next morning I left for Berlin.
It was in Berlin two months later
While I was staring out a window eating a banana
After sleeping on the floor dreaming of your voice
remembering how you used to tell me to peel them from the bottom like
monkeys do
that I realized:
I was so angry that you thought I was ugly,
that I forgot to concern myself,
with you not being happy.
And I wondered how you were doing.
And if you decided to go on meds or not.

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