Michelle A. Ladwig


You were never a very smart girl, really. I've grown to accept that about you. You stare
at the stars as though they are real, even though Nova repeats

they are dead, nothing but gas and gravity. I think that if you could you'd fly
to Paris, climb that horrible, hardened-licorice thing, smoke a Galois from the obvious

phallus, and lean over into the Parisian night looking for him, like your eyes and his
eyes could even possibly meet from a 1000 feet. You think he'll storm the castle, bound

the steps like some hot-ass Quasimodo. You think he'll give you a screen door
slamming, a wasp-busy summer, a bronze key clanging. I see you

in my mirror, trussing up the hair and breasts, gathering youth into your army. You
walk like the kind of woman who has purpose, one foot in front of the other,

sway your hips against the molecules, a metronome with no music. Do you really believe
the mirror, the sidewalk's chatter, or even the greasy wishbone on the counter? Why

can't you start slowly: the salt on the floor, coarsing the soles of your feet, the sound of
your very own breath, light as spring, the smell of a city locked into your hair?

Michelle A. Ladwig has been focused in Thieves Jargon, Gumball Poetry, and has performed at Atlanta’s 7 Stages and Word Diversity Collective: Naked, Pagan & Uncensored, where all three of those adjectives were involved. She spends her free time promoting the merit of dark beers and contemplating the best place for a tattoo.

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