i’ve yet to see a woman as beautiful as
my mother applying her makeup in
the AM light— stood in our bathroom, blinds
diffusing ever so slightly.

always brown or grey clinique eye-
liner, always sharpened first, saying
black was too harsh while eyeing
my own black wings. watching that
ritual every day until hospice, i am reminded
to appreciate my self, to take that mental
personal day. shimmer and black liner and
mascara on my fingertips, a feeling of zen
and the hope to be as beautiful as
she was, every morning.


i’ve never had a normal experience on
the F train.

there is no dawn or twilight on the
subway platform, no seasons save for
dank. rats building homes with those
tiny hands, studiously locating pizza
crusts and hotdog nubs. the smell
permeates and wafts, choking me in
the summer months. thick humidity
you can cut with a knife, sweat dripping
down my calves and between my tits.

unrivalled is the intense pleasure i feel as
i wash the day off of me, peeled off in
damp layers, a pile of rubble on my floor.