1. i’m thinking of men singing sad songs to sex workers, only
they never call them that.
in her bedroom, Roxanne puts on thigh-high leather boots;
zips them up – wait, is this Pretty Woman i’m thinking of?- and
strolls the boulevard, her red lipstick an invitation in the
darkness. all the sad men discovering that “cheap” rhymes with
“weep” and that “use” is part of “abuse”
all writing poems to sad
girls who don’t know they don’t have to do things.
do you know you don’t have to sell your body to the night?
d o  y o u   k n o w you’re more than just a whore? but then,
says the jokeman, all women are whores; that’s why they greet
each  other with “whore” and “slut”, stupid sluts
do you know a slut used to mean a woman who didn’t keep her
bedroom tidy and now sluts are still dirty women ha ha ha ah ha
i’m not saying she’s a whore but, jokes the jokeman. have you
heard that one? do you know the joke i’m thinking of?
you cannot be a whore because i love you
sings the sad man. why won’t you let me love you, sings
to Violetta, a “famed courtesan”, in La Traviata. courtesan is
just a  fancy word for whore. he saves her.
she dies of tuberculosis anyway.
they all do

2. men counting. i’m thinking of men counting the number of
hookers they killed in that 2 AM drunk game of Grand Theft
Auto. i’m talking
about body count being the number
of women you fucked but the number of men you killed.
women being fucked. women don’t fuck. they don’t wreck
they are wrecked. sext: i will tear you up like weeds.
men adding things, men subtracting the number of miles it will take
to get to your house. men carefully constructing the architecture of
happiness: a good life, a public proposal so she can’t say No.
do you know how much i paid for that wedding ring? is this
Tiffany i’m thinking of? is that the name of the girl or
the diamond? women are the greatest expense, joke men.
women are expensive & lovely, like fine wines, jokes the
jokeman, the difference is they don’t age well. ha ha ha, ah ha.
is that the joke i’m thinking of because i thought women
weren’t expensive?
remember those times a man approached
you on  a dark street and asked if they could pay you
they never offered very much
that’s it, that’s the whole joke

3. i’m thinking of men waving off your purse on the first date,
so you  shrug and say OK, surewhynot. men letting you sun
yourself in the glow of his generosity his deep-rooted
that you are thankful for. is this  Niceness™ i’m thinking of? 
the same man leans in for a kiss after, when you deftly step
back. maybe you just didn’t like him after all. maybe you
wanted to wait until the second date, maybe you just didn’t
feel like it.  maybe you  changed your mind, maybe you’re
just a stuck up bitch.  did you ever consider that?
men being angry, saying  Do you know
I bought you
all those drinks?

do you know how much i spent on dinner? i’m thinking
of women running forward like puppies, leading men on.
good joke, because women are bitches,
says the jokeman, and the bros laugh together, and
the women
laugh also because they are
ashamed, and so the women learned they were bitches.
so you learned to never let them pay
again. later you will close your door, and lean against it.
you have  paid for nothing but you feel poorer, somehow
do you know what i’m thinking of
do you know