Charisma came to me like a rubber doll

by Susan Michele Coronel

resembling a younger Matt McConaughey 
or a biker in Spandex shorts. It seemed 

so obvious, like blinking lights in the red 
light district or dandelion seeds floating 

in a spring field. The way jellyfish haunt
the open seas. I told myself I didn't need

it, that I wouldn't be swayed by its charms.
Yet there I was, smitten by its spangled,

blustery costumes, and it adhered to me
like an umbilical cord that would not sever. 

I resisted, wanted to extricate it the way 
a dentist excavates a root, not the actual 

tooth, shining and glittery, compelling 
me to say yes when I knew better. 

Returning to analyze me like a panel 
of judges on American Idol, it had 

no advantage, only to make me feel 
blessed, to say yes to a second date.

Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City. Her poems have appeared in Gyroscope Review, Prometheus Dreaming, Redivider, and One Art. She has received two Pushcart nominations. One of her poems was runner-up for the Beacon Street Poetry Prize and another was finalist in the Millennium Writing Awards. Her first full-length poetry manuscript was a finalist for Harbor Editions’ 2021 Laureate Prize.