she lives in a small apartment on the top
floor of a squarish ancient building. the paint
on the outside was once white but is crackling
now, as if there was something alive under there,
trying to break free. she does not look at it much.
prefers the flickering lights of rented movies
on her tv screen. there she slips into the stories,
imagines she too has a glossy, proofed life.
the boring parts edited out. she has a job at jake's
grill, serving the customers without seeing them.
jake likes to try to get her on her back but she
floats off, is cleopatra on the banks of the nile
and it's no fun to force himself on someone
who isn't even there. in her apartment she showers,
does not shave. does not cut any hair on her body.
doesn't want anyone to find those little bits of her
so she burns the cut toenails and fingernails, an acrid
horrid smell she suffers through to protect
herself. watches her movies and stays up till
four in the morning. gets up at eleven. to work
at one. drops off videos and rents more on the way
back to her apartment. imagines she
is conan's queen as she crosses a busy street.