More or Less

not enough information, you tell me


so suppose I tell you

the tortoise shell comb is

blue plastic purchased at the

Woolworth's on St. Charles Avenue

the unmade bed is a

single bed, with blue chenille bedspread

hiding pefectly tight hospital corners

the matchstick litters a

concrete porch where teenage girls

smoke methol cigarettes

the shaving brush is

my father's, stolen from

his toiletry set as a

reminder of home


there's a face in the closed window

it's a second story window, it is my face

and the face in the window stares at the

back of a girl on the sidewalk below and

that girl is me, also


the face in the window

whispers to the back of the girl on the sidewalk,

don't look back, don't ever look back


the armoire has another identity

a clothes closet filled with

peasant blouses, dresses with empire waists,

pants with elastic waistbands and

stretchy front panels, clothes discarded by

young woman for others who will come to

find bodies stretched beyond recognition


the girl on the sidewalk takes only

what she is wearing, what she wore


the glass chalice has no color

it is filled with

amniotic fluid and the

murky Mississippi


now, which is it?






you tell me.



Poem written on Day 21 using Poetic Asides Day 20 Prompt:

This is a continuation of Less is More, written yesterday. I think they're really two parts of the same poem.

The prompt:

Today is a two for Tuesday prompt. Here are the two options:

1. Write a looking back poem. There are a few ways to tackle this one, I guess. The narrator could be reflecting on the past or literally looking back (like over his or her shoulder).
2. Write a poem that doesn't look back. This poem would be kind of the opposite, I suppose. Narrator who refuses to look back or who is literally looking forward (or I suppose another option even is that the narrator is blind or something).

So in this poem, the girl doesn't look back, but the whole poem is definitely about looking back