It's fun when your child naps for longer than you expect so there is time to tool around on the electronic highway in search of something new (to you). That's how I came across Tina Chang and "Duality."
I like this poem because the narrator displays such a brashness and vulnerability within the scenes portrayed. The person she wants to be, and is to some, and the person she is are truly separated. We all have a little of that in ourselves, don't we? We imagine ourselves to be much more brave and outspoken and magnificent and romantic (in the true sense of the word) than we turn out to be when confronted with real life situations. Maybe it's just me. The imagined conversations I have pre- and post-event always come across much more eloquent and dauntless than they turn out to be. Anyway, I am glad to have found the poem.
Tina Chang has her own website. Very hip. Here's the link to her brief bio.
In daylight, I'll tip my sunglasses forward,
buy a cup of tea and think of the good
I've done for the world, how satisfying
it feels to give a man something to contemplate.
The heart is a whittled twig. No, that is not
the right image, so I drop the heart in a pile
of wood and light that massive test on fire.
I walk the streets of Brooklyn looking
at this storefront and that, buy a pair of shoes
I can't afford, pumps from London, pointed
at the tip and heartbreakingly high, hera
my new heels clicking, crushing the legs
of my shadow. The woman who wears
these shoes will be a warrior, will not think
about how wrong she is, how her calculations
look like the face of a clock with hands
ticking with each terrorizing minute.