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Girl in a Party This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

A spectre among darkness, you stand under disco lights
and reluctantly embrace the touch of strangers; your lips
quiver, nervous, like a hummingbird's wings, resigning to shallow interactions.
They can only feel, not hear, not see you.












I can tell you’re scared,
hiding your loneliness in solo cups and shot glasses.
You, wishing I had more to offer, wishing anyone had more to offer,
but we don’t. Scared, you recede like a turtle
escaping hands in a tank, you feel cramped and hope
your skimpy shell will hide you from spectators pressed against glass walls
looking in at a distorted you.








I want to scream acknowledgement,
but you would pretend confusion the way they all do.
So sit in your microcosm, Queen of the Tank, and hide
in your decorated cave. You’re red in a crowd of bulls, let me be
your Bull King, the matador that protects from impatient horns, hoping
to spear and slay you.






All the while, the Invisible Man watches
as you, Rinehart, absorb the lights and the bass and the fingers
walking about your body, exploring new and fertile lands.
He yells: "Take off your sunglasses and be naked, show them."
Your eyes swivel and stop on me, but you heard nothing.

















You sway softly,
shoulders slumped, under your empty face with your eyes closed,
wishing, waiting, wanting this song to end
so you, scared, could go home.




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