Gutter girls never forget to look up on meteor shower nights. Hope equals stardust, glitter crust in the early mornings, face plastered to a leather sofa in a strange time zone. Jet lag for weeks after a peach schnapps bender. Blinking alarm clock as a message. Gutter girls practice eulogies in the fogged up mirrors of hotel bathrooms three miles off rez. Feel like home in the woodlands, bless the absence of city sounds. Apply chapstick heavily, multiple times daily, to lick their lips constantly because they are addicted to the taste. They lug around a purse big enough to fit an entire life in. Their mothers and grandmothers' lives too. Never learned how to let go so they hold on to everything. Gutter girls map boundaries using the birch line as a blueprint. Mourn the cost of paper but know the best is always written in the dirt road after a rainstorm. Fall in love too easily, carve names of dream lovers into a park bench. Cross out mistakes. Cross out their mistaken identities. Correct the world with a wide eyed gasp and a stubbed nail jab to a rib bone. Gutter girls use the address of their birthplace as 'cred'. Leave a lot of voicemails to ensure confirmation, validation of existence. Tell you everything to your face because they hate how backs look when people walk away. Love too much, cry too much, sleep too much. Pick berries in summertime. Have purple stained fingertips they coordinate with their skirts. Gutter girls hold hands like they're holding the dying. Can see an aura the moment after making eye contact. Are used to rough surfaces. Talk the most to ghosts. Sigh prayerfully. Disappear eventually, like scars. Gutter girls fade like the photographs of their smiles that they never let anyone see. Bio: Jennifer Patino is an Ojibwe poet from Detroit, Michigan currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. She lives for books and film. She has had work featured in Door is A Jar, Punk Noir Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, Free Verse Revolution Lit, and elsewhere. She blogs at www.thistlethoughts.com. Two Poems from Jennifer Patino for our online “Trauma Letters Anthology” Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jennifer Patino Audrey Hepburn Challenge: Some Things A Lady Just Wears Well by Jennifer Patino
What a lovely name this fascinating narrative has, and I love that there is such gripping imagery throughout!
Excellent poem Jennifer! Felt the deep sadness and pain here! Your structure here is so good, it was such a lucid read! Very good writing!
This one by Jennifer Patino is tremendously sad but lovely. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. Loved it. xoxo
Love it… It’s bittersweet… Just like life … Thanks for sharing Jennifer 🙏