Manhattan, New York
The world wants us to see this—
girl in the ground. Girl
in the gutter—lover, lamplight
sifting through gum trees.
The soft, slow smell of fat. White down
poking through the seams. Necked
down to a bullet, girl: a cold
and visual math.
And so we take heed—we let our fur
grow out, let the simmer of eyes take
hold—later, we’re taken. Girls turn and turn
away. Chameleon, we leap like girls
into newsprint: green, ultraviolet. If only
the man they question would speak more
than two truths. To stoop over the sink, to be
dawned like a pear, white-bellied. To wring
our necks: the drain rimmed with prayers, pure
as hands. To dream, by morning, of nothing
but the fruit—stained
from newsprint skin—which leaves
full words across his teeth.