Discursive thoughts occupy her auburn, withdrawn eyes

as she avoids my inquiring stare.

Her crossed arms hide her as a raincoat would

against an incessant rainstorm,

pounding against begrudging insecurity.

Mahogany ripples like rivers. Downstream,

down her back,

an abundance of tangles and silk

that she runs her hands through and through

in response to my approach.

Her shirt clings to her body like a child to a lifesaver

All wrinkles and stretches and flowered lines of coffee stains

Her jeans, sun-worn and aged fabric;

hems, torn and grass-stained from wear, look tight and ill-fitting

just a size too small.

The cigarette, hanging loosely from her nicotine-stained fingertips,

crackles on each drag like her skin

when she scratches days old scabs.

The hearty wheeze in her lungs, her own monster, tempting

just one more.

She finally looks up at me, and softly begs the question,

"Sorry, but could you please stop staring at me?"