Exit Wounds


behind the wheel he sat

waiting in her driveway— yet another

friday night false sense of hope


she stood

before her full-length childhood mirror

face neck arms    and legs 

an indiscriminate hodgepodge

of multi-colored tattoos and body piercings

hard evidence: a sad, mutilated history

of family neglect, hurtful names, and social rejection

desperate the moments all

when she wished, prayed, and vowed

to do anything a n y t h i n g

if only she could



someone                      else

her unforgiving reflection triggered

an all too familiar inner voice

that sometimes seeped into her consciousness

when she was alone

and in the dark . . .

dear god, who am I? will I ever be loved?

weighty and unwelcomed her feelings

reflexively they gave way to the jarring sound

of his beckoning car horn ))) Dissipating

almost as quickly as they arrived

now—tight skirt, high heeled, and heavily perfumed

she headed out her front door defending fiercely

her unexamined past: a nest of injured sparrow

fully armed with a lit cigarette and a painted smile

she       determined

to drive once again




most frequently traveled