Rollerball - Lea Wright

The red rollerball perfume I bought 

Adorns the name: Very Good Girl,

With floral notes and what safari calls

A seductive heart of rose.


Two years ago my friend 

(Outgoing, bad kisser, oblivious fool)

Said people are more like their ascendant than their sun

And claimed that’s why I’m not as bold as I ever should be.


I toy with my hair in the mirror at 3 in the morning

Open wounds etched over my legs

like tree bark

Long ignored, glossed over, bookmarked 

As I’m busy ogling the girl I’ve come to hate.


She’s my distorted view of perfection

And I am her foil.

Her muse, her opposite, her exact replica.

We both howl into the night like we’re no better than lonely dogs tied outside.


When I was a kid,

I waited for the other girls to fall asleep before me during parties, sleepovers, 

Because I heard them conspiring about playing tricks on those who fell asleep first

So I stayed up, the watch guard, the vigilante 

And I woke up last and missed breakfast.


I’ve never trusted a woman, and I’ve never considered a man safe.

I stay in my corner, sharpening sticks

And I stash them like thorns in my white fishnets

And I put on my Good Girl perfume

And I move with a practiced persona

Who never moves too close to anyone

And who always memorizes the exit.



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