She opens her mouth
and shoves her fingers way down
the way a spine crinkles against the
hardness of another body, a chair:
bone by bone, uncomfortable, unable to
adjust.

Holidays spent in hotel rooms,
she studies the pattern her
shadow makes on the ceiling. It's a wonder
the smoke of the cigarette she's lit has gone
everywhere but her lungs, though the farthest place she's ever
been is the ocean from a dilapidated family polaroid; her brother's face
in the window of the van, the sun melting her mother's lipstick
across her father's cheek in a hurried brush, an artist not inspired
enough or inspired too much. the white sound of her name
screamed across dim rooms and the slamming of doors, (slipping through
teeth as grains of sand do through toes,) scribbled on the inside of hallmark cards
she let sit in a pile on the kitchen counter, opened and never read, words like
we miss you and are you okay? having lost their meaning long before
they were thought of, written down.