| Woman in His Rearview Mirror | and | When the Smoke Clears |

| Woman in His Rearview Mirror ​|


i have been the good time in the backseat, for taxi

drivers who ricochet their gaze off crooked mirrors


destination: to the place a woman is most

woman

is most what shade of shame a

man believes his woman should be a

soft strong enough to hold this

moment


with shoulders acute angles to make him feel

more man

because i am in his backseat and he is

steering right when navigation says left


turn thoughts upside down in da vinci

paranoia

i lick the questions off my

bottom lip i have been a good

time i should know not to lick my

lips like this


he is tossing 21 questions over his

shoulders 45 mph i juggle them in

woman hands when he is speaking to

me words like lectures words heavy

like definitions


says you are very mature this is not my

vocabulary just synonyms for staring at

stacked thighs he cannot grip in one hand

the control of direction so tighten pale

knuckles around animal skin


stripped from lambs until they are virgin

pink humility brimming where little girl

smiles hide I am under your nails and

gripped like a sacrifice to the men

hovering over me


in place we are parallel parked outside doors i do not

recognize


the gps a woman a soft strong woman telling

him in words that are sandpaper tissues


u-turn u-turn you turn 18 soon,

right?


| When the Smoke Clears |


His back door -- a portal into this world of

20-something men loving something-teen girls

who got jeans so tight they can’t breathe, inherited

whore’s lungs not made to hold no’s and those

hand-me-down hips too wide for Cosmo covers

they meet between. Smoke in basement of her

body, exhales through the gap her swollen thighs

make when he climbs the stairs her ribs form to

escape. Clank teeth together in clumsy kisses,

mouths dry, tongues hooked in question marks,

lips peeling like sun-burnt skin and picnic oranges.


** Slip the cotton flowers

through our teeth like valentines

in grade-school lockers.



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Website design by Zoe Reifel & Ava Bradlow

Animations by Ava Bradlow