You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much. People
think she's a whore.
Our cornfields were paved in asphalt, sulfur
lights snuffed our stars. When one of us had
no shoes, we went barefoot, walking streets
laid with tar. First we coated lashes blackest
black from tubes of green and pink, our eyes
lined kohl. If it was Thursday we found
boyfriends and waited by the liquor store for
anyone to buy us Smirnoff. Anyone at all.
We were not sweet girls.
We were not sweet girls, yet we wore silver
chains with silver hearts & crosses, onyx
rings, blush, lipstick, powder. Hair flipped
by vent brush before entering a night without
stars. Our parents were line dancing, were bank
tellers, were absent. We were a family that knew
nothing about its members.
We cut school and watched Foxes.
We cut school and drank vodka.
We cut school and got stoned,
did our makeup, walked the streets.
One of us got out. One of us ran
into our connection working a shoe store,
one of us glimpsed another with a baby,
one of us marries her Thursday night
boyfriend and shatters her image.
We were not sweet girls, no. If there had
been corn, or stars? Maybe the deep
sweet girlness would have surfaced — dreamy
fresh-faced girls — petals listening to rain.
Author Discusses Poems