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Smoke and Mirrors


Back then, girls teased their hair, big bangs
like loofahs on their foreheads. Plumes.
Somebody spiked the punch, they said,
as if they'd wanted plain old punch.

They shared their earrings, weed, and jeans,
wore underwear with satin bows,
and danced like sex. The nights wore on
in shots and smoke—and on and on.

Back then, before the silly me
of retrospect, they reeked of yes,
diffusing through the bar to go
their separate ways the moment stay

awake or stick together seemed
impossible—demanding later
in the tone of frowning, Tell
me everything
. They saw their share

of bunk beds, ancient futons, floors,
and dudes whose moves were easily
excused before the sunlight cut
through dirty panes where, sitting up

like damsels in a cuckoo clock,
they smoothed their tops and balled their socks,
said, This we didn't do, assured
what's missing isn't—can't be—true.


Caki Wilkinson

32 Poems

Spring / Summer 2013


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