Street Crimes

She at sixteen
is a queen of rags and red glass rubies.
Tiaras, tassels and tambourines.
beaded waistcoats and tangerine dreams.

A fist full of pills dissolves her
of all responsibility.
Flight is not a miracle but a god given,
wings are an angel’s destiny.

In her numbness, sex is just a physical act
Motion without emotion,
a train on a slow, down town ride,
hide to hide, skin and bone, honed to sweet sharpness.

Sting of the cut, pain, a startled cry.

Will it ever be more than that?
strength, gentleness, bliss.
A shield, a weapon?
a key to open doors to other worlds?

At sixteen she writes her poems
on club mirrors and alley walls.
Verses of no consequences,
no tomorrows!

No wake up calls after a quick fix.
That getting it on is being in luck.
A condom take all the heaviness
and drained it away. Pain remains

But she can still walk away and leave him
prone, alone and naked on the satin sand.
Sunrise blinding eyes
that spill oceans into emptiness.

In her deck of cards the joker is wild
and the queen a child of dust and fluff
spinning in the swirling ozone
of a pale green ocean.

She sings the songs of all she might become.
The sum of one and one and one, on to infinity.

At sixteen she sings that it is nothing,
the years, a burden too hot to carry.
a glowing coal to douse with salty water,
a single hiss, extinguishes eternity.

At sixteen, she can’t grow up fast enough,
She sings that sex make her more.
A debutante not a whore,
a moth emerged red and green into a night
of neon light.

Screams of death and birth.

She scribbles contracts on pink post-it notes,
that what she offers is flesh, no more,
quick relief to a deep down itch.
She his bitch and he. Her ticket out.

-Dave Kavanagh

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