<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| summer 2007

Rachel Mallino
We Ain't No Miller and Nin

His eyes press through the bar's night-light. I decide
to show him a trick I learned at thirteen: how to curl
cigarette smoke around my finger. Who needs long hair
when you've got lips and hands? Honestly, I only come here
for the jukebox; this single dollar gets me three plays
and one extra if my fingers move fast enough.

I see him interrogate the bar-keep. If he's looking for my name,
I've faked it. This jangling drink is my pink wig. Everything
about him, though, is real. Straight down to his torn pockets
and worn palms. I wonder if pool balls cracking
remind him of his mother hitting the floor.
The only alchemy here pours, then empties.


Rachel Mallino's work has appeared or is forthcoming in 42 Opus,
Stirring, Boxcar Poetry Review, Pebble Lake Review, Blue Fifth Review
and others.