The street is strolling merrily along when
our hovering, fiery daytime stalker fingers his glow-gun at the dark tint of my passing-by storefront display:
In the bullet-wake of his hot rays plays Prometheus for me in a world of central heating and grand stone hearths- staring back from the sand-to-double-glass is a
little girl's rag doll,
patchwork quilt- there, in that square:
hat, oversized, product of flirting thievery from an old white knight who would ride away without it, now, and miss the brim more than the grin beneath it.
chipped polish from
trying to look groomed and failing miserably,
impatient chronic lateness spreading streaks and clumps of half-dried color on the carpet, seats and skyline
maybe too tight by donuts and
ice cream or
by account of being from back-when
before first kiss first cigarette first glimpse of
unzipped ripped jeans, denim ridden skin too long too low too riding over rumble strip-
scarred angry jut of hipbones bursting through the beltloops tracing sharpie friends inscriptions down- all over, these pants are signed like casts- more cleverly worded get-well-soons for legs that work and work and never will...
that break and split and never will..
sit in stride with the shoes barely visible beneath then, flops with worn soles and sorely unclipped toes picked up from so much sporting that pedicures are bust and blister-band-aids claim the budgets.
For a closer look-
a cracked compact snatched from sister's dressing table,
fought bitterly about-
mom's green eyes and
dad's full cheeks and
salon color blonde from boys that claim they liked it running through their sticky handsy half-man fingers,
lashes from salesmen
that claim it's the look for today;
Ex-almost-stepmom's foundation and
homemade piss-em-off piercings with friend's sterilized earrings, strong fingers and beer;
blush from the roommate and lip liner stolen from somewhere laying out the red clay track for
crest white teeth and listerine-conditioned words like
“awesome,” “sweet,” and other known responses,
spilling brand name slang into tests and onto pages, the same nighttime revelations and day-to-day
there's the smile that I learned saying goodbye to him and the frown I picked up fighting and the wrinkled puffy proof of last night and
the cigarettes I stole protecting you and
the smoke rings I was courted with while we were screaming at the metro
and the shape of our anguished lips matched the electric wheels.
friction marks from fingers his and his and yours and mine-
especially mine- and I am recreating every faded set of hickeys and lightly set teeth onto my swallowing throat and covering them up with
7th grade's futile lime juice and off-shade concealers 8th grade turtlenecks and 9th grade scarves and 10th grade's long limp hair and
somewhere in there, forgetting to care.
is the no-heels toughgirl concrete way of standing from so many damming tactics and
the hipswing from my model-actress friends
the always carrying a pen and
sad-sack cynical hack look from some writer I plagarized-
the hair, I see, is from late night TV and half the jokes aren't funny to me,
just rhetoric- the way we laugh in circles so we talk in circles,
I talk myself in circles-
dogma-anti-point authority slumming
money in the bank and broke on the street because
so is everybody else my age
and I realize I have bought my plastic face and with the rest of girls like you and me and him and her
have sold my soul in pieces to every stranger that I meet
and love and hate for taking some small motion of myself
and replacing it with theirs.
there are other people quilting,
preening all their many lives to either side and
I am this image:
fingers stretched to touch my stitching,
kissprint on the glass.