bad photo teacher
If only you were something virile working, not
white cords sprigging out your ears not
broken state maps lining your nose not
thin frames and dirty words so awkwardly,
unpleasantly; disturbingly, balanced—
carefully track listed carefully spoken,
quiet cat kicks settling an unexpected spring.
Between decades and class ranks and
education checkpoints or lifetime milestones,
somehow you thought it fine to whisper
show me your skank pose
Curley Mousetail, Mousetail Curley
a picture of me stands, somewhere:
American Girl doll colored come white porcelain
photoshopped clean with curled dark hair
mouse studded eyelids glossed and staring
I read the sign (my dumb, feminine, insect mind)
crawling up rope ladders basking
in alarmed snake stink, hoping
I can skip some of this and just
(stage whisper): hurry up and be famous
(stage whisper): so I can just skip some of this and
become something real.
Where I can learn to dress and make good friends
I can register to vote and study for exams,
I can get a job, fall in love;
read The New Yorker and trust in God.
ERIN CURLEY is a fifth-year graphic design student minoring in English. She enjoys poetry, painting, drawing, design, and club music.