The trailer doors are bendy
metal with locks used only to keep kin-
folk out when they’re tweaking
their shit; there’s no basement—
old toys are kept under the kitchen
sink. If you go too far inside,
you’ll smell moldy reflections
of everything you thought was
a secret, but if you sit long enough
on the 70’s blue floral velvet
couch, the dust on the candle-wax
drippings will melt, the smashed
alarm clock sleeping on the floor will
start to amuse you, the back of your skull
bones will open a bit, and when the candle-
light expands, you’ll see the blue of the flame,
just enough to feel a lack of pretension.
A wave of hope rose in a little girl
at a time she was pretending to be
who she really was
when she flashed a pocket
mirror at a little boy with charred chestnut
eyes, a boy who make-believed to be
all she thought he was…
I promised the girl would
hold the crest of that wave
swing in salty froth and bold want
until the swell reached
a curve of years
built by lessons of brine on bone.
The veteran Waffle-House waitress
had black wrinkles on her face,
black roots, and black eyes.
Hard as nails, her once perky
tits pointed south, but she drove
one of the customer’s new trucks
because she gave good head.
She said I was green and didn’t
understand, but I always admired
her for smoking pot with cops.
Jennifer Hollie Bowles is the author of three poetry chapbooks (one forthcoming), and her writing has been accepted for publication in many journals, including The New York Quarterly, New Millennium Writings, Southern Women’s Review, Smashcake, and Echo Ink Review. She also the editor-in-chief and founder of The Medulla Review and Medulla Publishing.