the tips of her fingers are dipped with red ink
because she’s got a tendency to make mental corrections
to everything she touches, trails of pink affections
left swirling in dorm room sinks, envelopes stuffed with spare change
and sealed with movie theater hushes because
if it’s a penny for your thoughts you’ll need a Bill Gates fortune
to get after what she thinks,


that classroom she hates, her desk piled with books she stole
instead of bought, since she’s got enough words
filed away behind her eyes that she doesn’t see the point
in paying for a different way of saying what she already knows
and so long as she follows the rules,
sugar-coated smiling and lip sync laughing when she’s supposed to
winking and blushing like all the other girls do,
it doesn’t matter what she puts to paper, after all
it’s her debut performance they’re waiting to see,
how she moves through the split screen, if she fits with the scene


a sixth glass finding her lips
because they’ve got all the promises she can’t keep on tap
and so she drinks until she forgets to tip, until she sinks her own Titanic
and refuses to go down with the ship, a new thrill of buzzing warmth
shooting through her bones with each foamed sip, and still
she’s asking

Shouldn’t the cameras be rolling?

they’ll publish her in magazines and online blogs, raving about
where all her relationships went wrong, if she’s been in debt too long
although, she’s always been a fan of the backlash
the screeching of her brakes before the crash and she shouldn’t like it so much,
but she tends to forget, now that she’s got a problem she can talk about

though she doesn’t remember exactly when she acquired
a taste for stale cigarette smoke