Country girl

I’ve spent my life cringing
at the Hollywood versions
of my supposed accent.

Each year they get it wrong
and play up the silly words
while ignoring the melody
of my voice,
each syllable’s timbre
more varied than a banjo’s.


My youth was spent
playing hopscotch
on black grasshoppers,
their guts glowing green
on the shimmering asphalt.

Grandmaw insisted that we eradicate them
with our “tinny shoes”
before they munched her gladiolas
completely out of existence.

On hazy evenings
with scabby legs
we hid in the alleyways
of sprawling hay bale cities,
careful to avoid the darker crevices
where spiders hung
and watched us play.

The locusts screaming,
we gathered on the back porch
to rock in the swing
and watch the adults
pluck ticks from the dogs’ fur
like exotic grey fruit
teeming with deep red juice
that we would stomp
into the concrete
with delighted disgust.


Ignoring the sweat
beading on our spines,
we slogged through corn
up to our knees
inside giant metal bins,
moths fluttering
against the dust and sunlight,
our laughter echoing endlessly.
October 2005

Act I

This life, a dinner theatre for dead relatives,
deserves better lighting and a script with clean line breaks,
a protagonist who craves sex and solitude in equal doses:
who won’t speak in strained metaphors
when soliloquizing
on the commute home from work.
December 2005


He came over today
and brought the cat
(who peed on the rug)
and we talked about
the new rules
for interaction
and he told me about
— she of the silly internet photos —
and I said mean things
about mouthbreathers
while sipping on
meaty red wine

and you know what they say:

you let the cat pee on the rug once …


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