You’re a shy southern girl
and you know how to be pretty.
You were hired for your job at first glance
because your boss was tired
of sitting around and staring
at the furniture.
You don’t trust anybody but yourself
and you shouldn’t. Inside, you are
churning with ugly, guttural
hatred. You know hatred well, better than
you know the dim figures across the table.
You know some things well.
You love who you are because you can
disguise your own depths. You can exist as only the
soft white shell of your body or you
can exist as the red pulp and fury
in your guts, without telling anyone, without
You’ve seen dumb wax dolls and
you know exactly what they look like. You
can become one yourself, let yourself
be dragged around by the wrist and
have your head held down beneath a bedframe
and not gasp for air.
You can even disarm your mind with shots or smoke
until nothing tells you to stop flopping around like
a bunch of dull bones. So that nobody,
not even yourself, can know what you’re thinking
when words stir and snuff themselves out
in your throat.
Only you know your own multiplicity.
Only you can choose between blood and lace and
blood-stained lace. Only you have seen
all the faint shadows within yourself and how
so many of them must overlap to form anything
opaque or palpable.
Georgia Smith is currently a senior at Elon University, where she is majoring in English and works on the staff of Colonnades Literary Journal and Visions Sustainability Journal. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.