AFTERLAND
Marina Muhlfriedel

Dress me, my love,
in organza and satin
Clasp the diamond sparrow
‘round my neck
Slip on those silvery bracelets
I want to look my best

Make sure, if you would,
my eyeliner is even
Lips full, and perfectly drawn
Sweep on these cheeks, a measure of pink
Lashes mascaraed full and long

On my dresser
you’ll find Shalimar
Dab it on my neck and inner thighs
I need it all to be perfect,
when I turn up on the other side

Lay me down in style,
but lay me not to rest
That mahogany limo
will be waiting
And I’ll be on my way at last

I’ll step out
when I hear the band play
And enter those pearly doors
To finally dance with all the men
I secretly adored

It’s true I seem soft and well-mannered
At peace with my age and place
But I’m just waiting
for afterland
to kick it back up a pace

I’ll be shakin’ it on the dance floor
Flirting up a storm
Cackling as loudly
as I desire
Without a glimmer of remorse

Here I am an old woman
with crackly lips
and creaking knees
Dying to feel that magnetic pull of
men who can’t resist me

Make sure my hair is styled,
shiny, red and teased just right
I hope to look a bit wicked
When I show up there that night

Don’t be offended
if I flash some leg
Distressed by coquettish smiles
Indulge my craving for affection
If only for awhile

It will all
be out of my system
before you step through that same door
I’ll have grown tired of the attention
And ready for something more

Then we’ll swing each other wild
Leap and twirl
with all our hearts
If we want we’ll dance on forever
And never be apart

And if none of it happens?
The door slams shut for good
Then I won’t know the difference
So humor me, if you would

___

MARINA MUHLFRIEDEL is a native Angeleno and a published and produced writer and filmmaker. She has recently been featured by Angels Flight literary west, has had two poems put to music and included in albums from CIRCE The Black Cut, a global music collective based in Athens, and two Haiku in a public art display in Washington DC. An essay she wrote appears in Harvey Kubernik's latest book, "1967: A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love." Marina has been a participant in the Bali Writers and Readers Festival and regularly reads her poems and stories at venues across Los Angeles.