After Drowning Girl, by Roy Lichenstein


So, this is not a satisfying conclusion to the blue-haired drowning girl’s story.

Roy didn’t even bother to name her–an outrage considering she is the one dying

here looking on point with her fresh color and cut, microbladed brows,

and juvedermed pink pout. Look at her gel manicure POP

in the chop of these stylized waves.

Thank goodness she is not an ugly crier.


Where exactly is she?  Did she slip off Brad’s boat?

Is Brad cropped out of view, clutching his capsized vessel?

Or, did she stumble in his hot tub after five dirty martinis and a few Xanax?

Or maybe, this vortex she is caught in is a metaphor for her shitty relationship.

I need to connect Roy’s dots, but I am left

with this one snipped frame instead of a whole comic book.


And why do I assume Brad is a dick?

Why didn’t she leave his ass sooner?

Is she weeping because she is drowning,

or because she knows Brad won’t save her

even if she did call, or because she is relieved

she finally has the guts to leave?


Roy was angry when he created this piece.

Wanted all women to cry.

I am angry at Roy and Girl and Brad and myself.

Imagine me now, submerged in these lines,

altering the composition with my mascara smudging

and running down this unpretty canvas.  I need more here–


I hope Girl is angry too.  She has tread water for so long.

Drowning Girl is resolute without any resolution.

I hate that she thinks of Brad before she chooses to sink.

He is the star of her final thought bubble.

He is not worthy of a last line.