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Baby Girl

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I stand in the doorway
Of her room
It is small and bare
A wire frame bed
Sits lonely in the corner
She spends so few nights here
Anymore
The window overlooks a bleak parking lot
And the music pounds
As loud as the radio goes
To drown out the world
Her back is turned
She doesn’t see me
She dances loosely, almost drunkly
Unmeasured steps
Wavering
Her red hair flaming
In this black and white photograph
The song is fast and crude
She sings along, loudly
Off tune
Trying to fling out the words
As quick as she can
But she can never
Quite catch up

Just like her life

She takes another drag
Of her stub of a cigarette
And the song ends

She whips around
And her eyes catch mine
Suddenly I feel like an intruder
Watching her
In this private moment
There are no words for this
Her pain penetrates
Through her too-tight tank top
And her smudged lipstick
Her high heels
Too big for her delicate form
She is wobbly
Like a little girl playing dress up
And there is nothing I can do
But plead her
Silently with my eyes

Then she blinks
Turns her back on me
And lifts her cigarette to her mouth

Nothing left for me to do
But leave the room
Her silhouette
Against the fluorescent lights
Still burning in my mind

Nothing left for me to do
But leave
My baby sister
All alone



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