Good For You, Girl

by Miranda Dennis

It’s not fair, but it is a story: for instance,
wicked or at least beautiful. For instance,
poison or at least a hangover. There are
objets d’art, a multitude of bird feathers,
giraffe-necked women breathing
the last cotton summer they will
ever say, “Yes, happy.”
Dollars turned to coin, which jingle
between pocket and lining
of a silk jacket bought
at a yard sale. It’s not fair, but even moths
live beyond us. But also: this floral print
dress is your half of the rent
in a four-bedroom apartment
close to the park. What do you do?
Sever a finger and leave in a planter.
The next morning what grows
is golden as fairy tale, threads who
ask not for loom or needle but
one giant tree, whose bark flakes off
like old memory. Astral projection
is not the only way out, but it looks
better than a firefly wiped wet
across the cheek. If your mother
named you after family, check
yes. If not, please explain why in the box
below. If your mother named you
after who she hoped she would be,
please show your work. It’s hard
being a girl. Remember, always,
isotopes. Remember, always,
a golden comb, which you have left
lying around, somewhere
out of reach.

A graduate of Hollins University, MIRANDA DENNIS also studied in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her poetry has appeared in Meridian and Jellyfish Magazine, and she recently finished the draft of a novel that takes place in her home state of Alabama. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn and spends a lot of time petting neighborhood dogs.