she rotates the bag of popcorn so its yawning mouth
is faced away from her own. two popped kernels tumble
onto the table, she pushes them back into the bag
without looking.

the knuckles of her fingers are the widest part
her knees like softballs dropped into socks,
forearms shaped like the bones they hold.

at the end of the night it takes her two tries
to get her backpack up to shoulder height.
when her torso crumbles like sandstone
on the first attempt, the patches of barren scalp
are visible – her hair has begun to fall out,
each strand jumping like the crew
of a burning ship.


Unzipped (a fresh take)

This is a fresh take on a poem I wrote last fall. The original poem had a stanza that focused on the scene depicted in this poem, but the rest of the poem talked about other things. I received a suggestion that I should further explore that one stanza, and now I’m finally getting around to it.

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