by Jessica Maxwell


Razor thin, I threw baby out with bathwater between
choked sobs on a tea room towel. Once.
I was younger then. No one’s baby girl.
I didn’t know any better.

Back then, I was tethered to the tip jar. Bound by
Elks lodge perverts. Living off cigarettes and canned piss.
A real Gary Cooper. Double-faced.
Only howling at half-moons.

There are some things you just don’t talk about, and
all you need to know is that
back home, bars don’t close till after six.
The only advice I ever took to heart.

Lord knows it’s been nothing but
participation ribbons and in-school suspension.
Spinning circles in the outfield. Pulling weeds.
Wondering what other little girls dream.


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