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helen of troy runs the station wagon into a ditch

you ever get going down a long stretch of some
county road way out in the sticks where nobody
knows your name or your people or just exactly
how many babies you did or did not have
and what happened to them afterwards?
sun full in your face. fm station coming in glassy
as a jar of night cream. and why shouldn’t you
speed up? and why shouldn’t your toes itch
on that pedal so sweet and easy you might as well
be that sugar from the movies? be that doll
from the papers, hanging off the battlements,
teeth sharper than a hairpin turn? velocity,
transmutation, oh baby, that arc through
the wind, that barrel-roll, they shoulda been here
with the cameras, me and me in black and white,
blasted down the line for the world to open
over morning coffee, fingers rolling down
the page, my name typed up where it won’t
blow away again. the kind of thing you clip
for the scrapbook. the kind of girl you save.


helen of troy rejects applebee’s

i say can’t we go someplace nicer
and he says well sure if you want
to blow the chef afterwards and i
say what does the chef look like
and he says that’s what’s wrong
with you and i say everything is
what’s wrong with me and he
says can’t you just stop fighting
me all the time and i say i’m not
fighting anyone anymore and he
says look it doesn’t have to be
applebee’s it can be anywhere it
can be chi-chi’s it can be ruby
tuesday and i say ruby tuesday
i’m not wearing heels in a ruby
tuesday and he says fine wear
flats who cares and i say i will
not be seen in flats and he says
no one is looking at you no one
is god damn looking at you—