La Vie en Rose

By Nim Holden


That old sailor doesn’t

know how to start your letter:

Dear Dahlia,

Dear lady,

Dear chain smoker,

Dear courtesan,

Dear harlot,

He will tell you to wear

something red next time.

Dip your fingertips

    in sugar, baby

Color your lips with that

stolen wine, and don’t tell him--

Don’t tell him you’re flying

to Venice.

Don’t tell him love is mean,

Long Island Queen.

Don’t tell him you’re no good

       for him.

He knows,

he knows

Knows you’re a steel mill--

knows copper doesn’t feel good

on the tongue.

You’re a big girl;

gnaw on those electrical wires,

  and don’t tell him about

your bronze guts,

silver teeth, or

gold bones,

that oil chardonnay,

or steel dress.

Grow up, babe

    that cabaret singer

doesn’t sing about machines.



Nim Holden is a freshman creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy from Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a poetry editor for the Interlochen Review. Her work has been published in the Interlochen Review and the Red Wheelbarrow, and she has also performed at Chicago’s Spoken Word Cafe. She plans to go into the navy, and later political science at NYU. She has to force herself not to make Jurassic Park and Mass Effect references in professional settings, and prefers to write to the soundtrack of Left 4 Dead (including the zombie sound effects).