Don't Let My Little Girl Face Fool You

Don't let my little girl face fool you

I've lived lifetimes

before and after you.

I can't say


or when

my childhood


it could have been when I was twelve and watched my father



his brokenness

over the kitchen sink

(the only thing more silent then a seizure; is the unrecognized face behind it.)

Maybe it was the rape at fifteen;

or Jessica

dead at seventeen


I'm supposed to believe that the beat of your heart


sends you to heaven

to be an angel

as though


were the life equivalent of seventy

and a life

can be measured by years.

As though I couldn't hear god's little giggle behind that one.

It was raining when I graduated from high school

laced up in green


underneath raindrops

and my mother's awkward sobs

up in the top row.

I went away

just to come back,

forecasting my years

like a weather (wo)-man

I could never really predict the rain though.

I lived in that brick braced room

with him;

I wore my uniform

and fell asleep

inside his heart

like a baby he let me birth myself again


my swollen

heart beat-

I guess we just liked to talk to each other,

lie with each other,

maybe even we wanted to die with each other

(it wasn't hard to imagine

the life

as yet



could be so unsatisfying).

Or maybe it was the crash

and the bash

of a body filled with bruises


or me


in the ambulance;





is not

a chapter book

that you can put down

and hook

to your soul

like candy

to sweeten the flavor of whatever it is that you have going for you.

It doesn't end


it just kills it

(everything good?)

I walk around

in numb high heels,

but this is how it feels

to survive

and or

be the last one standing.

(as though life were a fucking Monopoly game

get two-hundred dollars

per capita

per hour;

pay me out in a lump sum

to silence


-as though you ever could.)

I perform my elevator walk;

I look so solid

against my reflection in the metal

so unbreakable

(let, me, transform, into Ozma and live in the mirrors

so I can always watch over you

but never be seen,

let my face,

my body,

my scars,

always shine

inside the sheen

"let me live so that I am always perfect for you."

Let me travel

golden keys in hand

back to that morning

and sleep in

instead of being in that car

so far

from home,

so alone

while I listen to that paramedics on the phone

with my crying boyfriend.)

I'm college bound

like a good little girl

so I can smile

and marry that doctor

with soulful eyes

and live on Vashon Island

and write poetry on the beach

before I fade away

from all memory

(one day you'll forget me;

you won't even remember that I existed.)

If I had my golden keys

to unlock the doors

(good little girl style)

I would bring Jessica back

and take her place

between heart beats;


I don't think

would ever know the difference (one little girl is like all the others).

She was always so much better then me,

the kind of girl

who smiled

because she was happy

(really happy)

and never flunked out on a Science Test;

she was the kind of girl who wouldn't need her reflection to tell her who she is.

I guess

I'm just sitting on the floor

like a child again


everything that I was never taught

just to teach myself how to live again.