The Secret Life of Francine DeTollo

January 21, 2010
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As she walks down the hill

toward the Western Michigan spirit wear store

she pins her name tag onto her fitted tee.
“Francine D.”
works Monday through Thursday,

noon to 6--



She folds

and she smoothes

and she stacks--

behind her counter she never seems to leave
When she raises her hands,
two pink slits

in her arm pits--

stick out of her brown and gold fitted tee.
And sure enough--

a chiseled nose

to go with those big, perky things.

As she enters her white Mercedes Benz,

the vanilla bean scent swirls out the open door

and the tassel

hanging from the rear view

swings ever so slightly

from the Lake Michigan breeze.
After plopping down

on the genuine black leather
She throws her Gucci bag

in the vacant passenger seat.
Her hand dives into the purse

in search of her beloved Blackberry.
She dials--

her fake French manicured nails click

against the keys

as she speedily dials her mother--

her evening ritual.
Holding her phone with her left hand,

she throws her right forearm

over the top

of the sleek steering wheel--


her scar

once again.

Slamming in PARK

flip-flopping to the front door,

clicking LOCK twice,

the car chirping,
Francine jingles her keys

to open the door

to her Alpha Chi Omega house.
She hangs her coach keys

on her key hook

revealing her scar

once again

and heads upstairs.
After tossing her bag

on her bed

while walking past,

she heads straight to the shower.

unbuttons the tight Armani jeans,

slides them down,

steps out,
Only to reveal more scars--

in all the wrong places.
Before stepping into the shower,

she removes her retainer

and places it into the blue plastic case

still engraved with the name, “FRANK.”

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