Thirteen and delinquent, we shimmied down the latticework
as softfooted as veteran alleycats, leaving the mist
of our phony bedtime prayers to the orderlies tapdancing
in dim hallways, grinning and snapping their ribbonstraps.
We stole away to bluecasted woods, grey birchfingers sifted
through our wild hair seeking raindrops,
the brittle fingers of ancient women. We were a couple of lunatics,
you and I, two little girls in white nightgowns howling
at the lucid moon, chancing those secret twilight meetings
to spit moonshine into the coffeecan campfire. The phosphorescence
spilled from your impossibly red lips in fits of feral laughter.
We swapped our sugarpills for matches at lunchhour
with the chainsmoking hysterics, the crackedup housewives, deadeyed banshees
hissing and straddling the thirdfloor banisters. We were third generation
basketcases, sicklecelled with the badblood
of our madbride mothers.
Inside those limestained walls, I saw you tip the sizzling sulfur
to your own perfect skin without flinching. Borderline,
they called you. Pyro. Lunatic.
Your true name was Annabelle—one brown eye, one blue—
a Cheshire cat grinning in flickering firelight. You were a song,
one long hollow note, lovesick and starving.
We were sisters, twin white wolves,
mooncrazed and ravenous with the promise of blue twilight.