• Lena Drake

The Wild Girl


You’ll find her on Sunset Blvd

heavy eyes, lips ajar.

She picks a carnation,

white, from the neighbor's

lawn. Her face lifts and

falls, no different from

the flower, alive only

to us. Alive until

she’s nothing more

than a stem between

two fingers--a bargaining

chip for the intimate.


She sheds feelings like

they don’t belong to her

and tastes like

they tell her to.

A body goes

for less than you’d think

on the open market.

She counts the ceiling tiles:

thirteen, fourteen, fifteen;

wishing for a bigger room.

We dream because

it’s easier than breathing.

You’ll find her in the little

house, ready to run

if someone would ask.

She wants to trust, but trust

is when you stop

fighting. If she puts down her

fists, the world would

not recognize her.

She plays house until

there are no ceiling

tiles left to count,

or carnations to pick.

She plays house until

it’s time to run

and she runs

as though

she was

always

ready.


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