Go Ask Alice



To that wide-eyed, lost-souled, east-side girl.

Wandering the street at 3 A.M.,

Too drunk to know where she was,

Too high to call someone she trusted-if she even had someone she trusted.

Broken child, thrown out with the trash the American Dream promised she would rise above.

When did she start believing her teeth were crooked tombstones?

Her skin cracked glass?

Her mind a broken machine?

I saw the water spill from her fishbowl eyes,

The brown stains at the edge of her dress-proof she had been dragging herself through the mud to avoid jumping at shadows.

Ghost that still haunted her.

Memories of men out steal whatever innocence she hadn’t sold hoping for arms that held instead of hit.

She died on the street corner she ruled with cold blooded indifference,

Never again to drink 40’s bought by 40 year old men,

Trying to punish their own high school alcoholics through her body.

Injecting her with manhood,

Streaking her vision with red,

Cutting like sharp coral in an already polluted ocean.

Little girl, love does not taste like chemicals.

It does not look like dark alleyways,

It does not feel like bruised arms,

It does not smell like hunger.

Pure is more than an atomic composition.

I wish you could come home…

But you can’t.

You’re out fighting an impossible battle with every other kid who’s seen war in his backyard,

With every other kid who held on to the promise of change in exchanges of substance,

With every other kid who’s only sense of warmth came from the lighter in their pocket.

You can’t puff puff pass your life to the next kid on the street corner anymore,

Because you’re gone.

They are all gone.

And we can’t ask them why they didn’t change,

Why they couldn’t even call?

But you can ask Alice.

She’ll answer them all.


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