Rag and Bone

by Ashley Strosnider

Tell me was it true when she smiled people stared
and wondered what she’d eaten what it might be like
to be devoured to be held between those fine jaws?

Don’t worry if she bleached if she’d had braces if
she was the kind of girl who could knot a cherry stem
with her tongue while she grinned and winked.

I hope they did not think that was beyond her. I heard
the light at her bedside blinked bright and went out
when something fell upstairs. I heard it shook her

ceiling raining ashes she shook from her hair.
I heard she chewed her lips into ribbons and rags,
packed a borrowed bag and hitched to Arizona.

I heard that was the week she learned about dinosaurs,
about why cats eat first and wash afterward.



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