I think about
you, Maggie, how you stamped your bare feet in
orchard and screamed profanity in front of the hired
you stepped into the irrigation tank naked, how your
as she dragged you back to the house and dialed the
the old black phone on the wall, her voice breaking,
and how when
the ambulance came the men twisted your arms
back so that you couldn’t scratch at their faces, go for
eyeballs. I think about the boy next door, peering from behind
already missing your wild invitations that made him shudder
pleasure. And how your mother said he was not a nice young
man, to take
advantage of your illness.
I think about
you, after you married the man who thought he
care of you, how you entertained me in your tiny kitchen
yellowed window shades and the dishes piled in the sink,
the red blot
of lipstick on your cup, the overflowing ashtray, as you
smoke rings in the air.
I see you,
Maggie, sobbing on the side of the desert road,
fists on the hood of your broken-down car. I see you,
flailing your arms at the drivers who pass by with their
straight ahead. I heard how you said you would have
either direction if someone had just stopped.
And then I
see the years wind on, the chain-link-fenced
electrodes taped to your temples.
sometimes, Maggie, sometimes I see you catching a ride
stranger, a man with suitcases and cash, and your future is
hotels, and nightclubs, where your lipstick clings to the rim
of a highball
glass and your smoke rings float to the ceiling.