Red-painted Attic ("after" Dean Young)

Claire Donato

Which is better? A set of speakers
missing a power button, or wondering when
someone is going to come and
turn you on
by pressing plastic in, twisting
your torso to the left? Is there anything better
to do right now than soak

in my regret? Half of me is still

sitting on this uneven futon, holding
a red velour pillow. In the bathroom
downstairs, a girl on the phones cries
regret! regret! regret!

in a dry shower moments before
she shaves her head with razors. In the kitchen,

a couple groping, trying to feel something
that’s no longer there. Regret of flickering
light bulbs, acidic photographs. Regret
of falling leaves. Regret of

impulse shopping last Saturday in
Shadyside: Untouched leather
handbag on a nightstand, wrinkled
tag—“Banana Republic.” Regret of
I think I’ll return this next weekend

because tonight I need to think. The regret of feeling
regret might be one of those evils that holds me
in bed at night, but in my head I count
sheep, printed scarves, sleeping kittens, waltzing

Claire Donatos. Claire Donato causes regret for anyone
trying to maintain stability in an interpersonal

relationship. Sometimes this sort of romantic regret
may induce premarital promiscuity but how
could you not want to unzip my pants
tonight after four screwdrivers, two

straight shots of Maker’s? A jackass is a donkey.
Somersault, vending machine, litter. Someone, please,
inject me with some tranquilizer. The regret
of crossing the Boulevard for the sake of a good

fuck is reiterated in any movie featuring Demi Moore
having an affair. Try Disclosure. Hate the boulevard? Leave

the city, because we know
the impossibility of kissing
a divorcee in a third story bedroom while
clutching a red velour pillow. Strange, how we think

of rotting
velvet as velour, not
as decay.

Dean Young writes surrealist poetry which juxtaposes language and image in strange ways. His smile says he knows what he is doing even when he does not. It was difficult to find a high gloss picture of him on the internet possibly because he is more a smeernum than a smump.

Claire Donato currently lives Oakland, CA. She is a contributing editor to The New Yinzer and a character in I Think We Should See Other People. Poems have been published in Caketrain, SHAMPOO, and elimae.