Molly Kat


Life is one long episode of Cops, flipped inside out and gutted like a Pumpkin. She is a jack-o-lantern today. She has three teeth showing. Her smile is carved into her skin. Her insides have been hallowed out by children donning men's mouths. Today her friend's father pinned her against the bookcase, caught sight of his reflection in the gold-plated flask leaning on the collector's set of Mark Twain books. He smelled like stale pipe tobacco. The bookshelf was an antique. He brushed her hair from her eyes with the backside of his palm. Lucy, your eyes are... She elbowed him. She bit off his ear. She dug her fingernails into his eyeballs and gouged them from his head, speaking in Shakespearian prose and calling him Gloucester. Out vile jelly! She grimaced a tight-lipped, drop-dead smile and excused herself. The front door slammed angry behind her, the sidewalk purposely tried to trip her. The man five paces back followed her for six blocks. A pickup truck with three men sardined in the front seat rattled over potholes, their catcalls hiccupping out of the windows with every bump of the unpaved road. The old Presbyterian at the corner house went to confession every week to atone for the newspaper cutout, six summers old, of Lucy sunbathing by the town pool. Her jeans were two sizes too big. The butt sagged. The waist was loose enough to fit both arms inside. She wore baggy T-shirts and clutched her switchblade in her fist, or rooted her longest keys between her fingers. Every ten seconds she swept the scene for potential weapons: rocks, empty beer bottles, a piece of scrap metal. A white Mercedes slowed to a crawl beside her. She cut through the parking lot behind Safeway and picked up her pace.

Molly Kat is finishing her Masters degree in English Literature and Rhetoric at Binghamton University, where she is the poetry editor for Harpur Palate. These two pieces are excerpts from a longer manuscript entitled Lucy. Other Lucy poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blind Oracle, Foothill, Corvus, Toad Suck, Samizdat, Up the Staircase, Resurgo, Spark Bright, A Minor, Off Channel, H_NGM_N, and Toad the Journal. Four of the poems from this manuscript were finalists in the Midwest Writing CenterŐs national poetry contest. Molly travels the world couch-surfing and accidentally finding new and bizarre ways to get concussions.

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