Inventory With Petrichor & Blackout
I don't know what she wanted
that summer we stitched our dresses
into ourselves but I know
I kept looping needles into my skin and smiling
at a camera, sweating a little
in the small of my back. Each stitch
made me feel a little better,
or so I told myself. Each made
a tiny contusion in the sky; a hum
in my backteeth. Each was a footstep,
a new black spot on a lung.
I know I got jacked three times
and was only drunk one of them.
I don't remember the faces of the women
I slept with or the men who robbed me.
I know each hour clicking over
was a little needle of gin.
Once I waved my hand through the air
and combed the clouds straight as Venetian blinds
just so the slats would fall splintered
on her body as she posed
for a selfie. Most days started
with an idea, then continued with twisting it
until it snapped in two.
I want to know
a girl well enough to know
when she's drunk
just by the look in
her eyes. I'll bury
my head in the sand
of her graveyard at the edge
of our village.
What that girl leaves
in her glass I'll suck
of the rinds. I'll kiss
someone else with
her pith in my teeth.
girl working the bumper sticker booth in the Harris Teeter parking lot
A whitegirl like a plane going down but still shining.
Whiteboys who died curled inside yellow ribbons
shellacked to the back of mama's sputtering
Olds. Girls who fell over
state lines and got up running. Girls pouring Domino sugar
straight from packets to throats. Learning how fast ice melts
against wrists or last drinks. Forgetting how quick
hydrangeas & fruitflies bloom. The past
just some seeds in her teeth. Dead cousins
she sold to get out of work. Deadbolt stories
spat out like come in her teeth. Forgetting
the future like keys. Forgetting those months
she let a man tie her up for money
and another for free. The past just going to the matinee
to find the parking lot dark after. Her skin just a ghost
I've gotten so used to I'm not afraid anymore.
Nina Puro's work is forthcoming or recently appeared in BETTER: Culture and Lit, H_ngm_n, Hobart, Indiana Review, Jellyfish, Prelude and other places. A chapbook, Two Truths & A Lie, will drop from dancing girl press in 2015. Nina lives in Brooklyn, works in publishing, and is bad at thinking of clever third-person quips to put in places like this.