Self-Portrait No. 11 (Climatology in Flux)
Your current age feels like a polar
jet stream, the joy of bills paid, the pop
and fizzle of name brand aged wines.
You now have a clear start to shock
and denial of dropped arches, joints
in need of patching after dancing
in red 3 inch heels. You are done
with thunderstorms that rolled through
your twenties, you’ve swallowed rain
shadows with eucalyptus leaves.
A woman without cares has plenty
of time for bridesmaid dresses
and office baby showers. Did you sign
Sarah's card? Have you thought about
freezing your eggs? The Low will be a 30%
chance of tears after a heat wave with
loose loving men, hard boiled goods
too much alive. Beware of depression
disguised as barometric pressure.
Or El Nino, those friendly people
who call you momma or mami
because your brown and round. It leads
to flip-flops, binge eating frosted marble
cake, and old-school musicals. Dear
Conrad Birdie, you can still get it.
All your stories sit in trees and in credit
reports. The High will be a southern
oscillation– knowledge that you can be
wind too wild for taming if you choose.
Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, the MacDowell Colony, Poets House and the Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts among others. Winner of the 2016 Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry and the 2018 Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial Award, Manick is the Founder and Curator of the reading series Soul Sister Revue. Her poem "Things I Carry Into the World" was made into a film by Motionpoems, a organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month and Reel 13 Shorts. Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Kweli Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Muzzle Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. She resides in Brooklyn, New York. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.