She tells the man with the needle
that it doesn’t have to be perfect
she just has some extra money
burning holes through
all that keeps it far from spent.
She wants a bat wing on her shoulder
just big enough to notice
when she’s wearing something sleeveless
in the warmer times of year,
before the daylight disappears behind
the drywall.

New people always tell her she looks sad
when she would have to introduce herself,
and she would laugh and try to prove
that they were missing things they couldn’t
if they tried.
Still the greetings we’re her favorite part
when new days somehow have to start
and where they go is up to just the two of them.
There is so much going into making people
like her care about a spreadsheet on a screen
or just a plastic house that cost too much
while the belt is still wrapped tight around
her ankle.

Her brothers lived so far away she rarely ever
saw them, but on the phone when they would
talk sometimes she always pictured them
standing on a fishing pier by a frozen lake
that stretched way out beyond
the inside of her skull where things were dull
and unexciting as the code of things.
It turned out kind of crooked, and the lines
we’re not as perfect as they could have been,
but still that mass of leather rendered
in its ash colored array remained a part of her
until there were no others.

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