on the taxi ride home, the Driver plays everybody wants to rule the world and sinks a marlboro cigarette in three drawn-out, pensive drinks / this is the fifth time alec has asked me to trust him / although i never did when my Older Sister taught me to list off names of subway stations to beat back sleep / the old man’s jaded performance of neil taylor’s guitar solo sedates me once more / when i begin losing consciousness at canal st. / alec calls me “maggie” and “bitch” in the same breath / like the chase bank billboards advertise a toilette for the modern woman and the “loosest” slot machines in the mid-atlantic on the same cheugy facade / i claw blisters off my feet and clench the stoned strap of my black dress until my nails turn milky / bottle Blonde in the car beside watches mortified / flesh draping her body like a sheet mask / excerpts from play it as it lays scrawled on her bones / i wish Alec never saw my skin folds slide past the tissue paper bodice and into my studio sanctum / where i stare at the ceiling half painted purple like my pedicure as he solicits in my kitchen, brewing coffee in his carhartts and opening cluttered cabinets / i unmoor my retainer overlooking west queens / at the Businessman squatting on the curbside, crumpling a chewed up tamale in one hand and wiping saliva with another / alec is curled in the corner of the air mattress, forging calculus homework with punchlines from big mouth and coddling his purring stomach like a stray cat / but for the first time this month, I write / a thank you note to joan didion for calling my mother back in six imperfect characters
Anna Feng is a student at Del Norte High School in San Diego, California. She is a California Arts Scholar and Iowa Young Writers Workshop participant. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, and the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest, and has recently been published in the Ice Lolly Review. She is the proud owner of a pair of red cowgirl boots she wishes she could take out on the town more often.