In the blue bathroom, my mother’s hidden Kotex.
My pajama crotch smeared with first blurred fire.

Hard to describe the side yard: dog chain,
verbena, teens bristling in collars of restless fire.

Slow dancing with vertigo in my home-made gown.
I catch the room careening through satin skull-fire.

Grey-tone, the old Polaroid. My father’s car keys: sweaty.
My big-girl mouth blotted with Ring of Fire.

Late radio singing “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”
If women are guitars, here’s a strummed, plucked fire.

Dead, the boy whose fingers slaked my breasts.
You’d recognize the name: smudge of swallowed fire.


Gianna Russo
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