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Demure Artist Girl

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Demure artist girl leaves the house at 10:54 p.m.
Smelling like Red Bull and dogs,
wearing no make-up except remnants of rouge
on her worried lips,
down the torn cement steps in KCK
into the tri-colored car and onto the highway,
listening to Bowie and ignoring small talk,
imagining a peep show in her head,
torn between childhood memories of marshmallow peeps in her mouth at age 4.
The new peep, the old.

They talk about cars on the way.

Demure artist girl gets home on the brink of tears even after meditating
tired of wretched images of parasols, corsets, and bust lines,
eats dinner and comes to her bedroom,
the grotto of the house,
with pictures of burlesque queens displayed proudly,
duct-tapped to all the cement walls,
digs through storage boxes in the glass room
and finds a vintage lingerie piece,
cuts it up and tries
to make up an excuse to wear it to public school tomorrow,
which no one will understand
the reference, the cleverness, how smart she must be to think something up.

Each outfit she wears says something about history,
but no one notices with their cell phones or lip gloss or tanning.
She'll be chastised for sure,
scorned too,
Playing with her own sexuality by smiling and tossing her new hair.

Demure artist girl is bored with her life,
but comforted
knowing she will one day be a performer,
the star, the sought-after.
The wanted.

Then takes the lace off and replaces it with a scarf,
composes her back pack and prepares to go to public school,
where no one will understand
and nothing will matter.





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