“Never,” Someone on TV Says “Compete Against 25 Year Olds”

By Lyn Lifshin

Wanting you, anyway, there

can’t be an end of the

story since there won’t be

a story. Call it “you know

it’s an old song” you

can’t compete with

25 year old beauties.

But he did love my poems,

read everything the first

few months. I’m your

# 1 fan he whispered, his

mouth in my hair. Are

you shocked? I bought

clothes I didn’t need

for him, made hair

appointments for the day

of my class in his arms,

felt like so long I hadn’t.

When he kissed me

I dreamed it meant some

thing more, that “that was

a good class,” his “we’ll

have to go out and talk

about movies and your poems,”

meant we might. Once I

almost bought a coat

because he loved it, didn’t

then spent weeks when

it was gone, hunting it down

as I have him, elusive,

even in dreams. No,

I can’t, even with a 19 inch

waist and long good legs,

long blond hair compete

with 25 year olds. But

unlike the young girls with

beautiful skin, their elbows

if you look just beginning

to be kissed by earth

I can, as they never could,

with a few words,

make him




Lyn Lifshin has published  over 130 books and chapbooks including 3 from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It’s Light and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, Lifshin published her prize winning book about the short lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and  Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness.  Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog,  Knife Edge Absinthe: The Tango Poems .  NYQ books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also  just out: For the Roses poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre.Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle.  And Tangled as the Alphabet,– The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press Just released as well  Malala,   the dvd ofLyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a dvd of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane press

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