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little girl's perfection

nose slightly wrinkled,
concentrating on perfection

dress self-consciously stretched
around waist, across back and
down over thighs
slightly too far away
from two knees

hair messy enough to
convey nonchalance while
sister’s is tightly pulled back into
naïve sophistication

voices soft to mask the
sweetness, not skin to be
concealed or padded,
unchanged by borrowed blouses
high-heeled shoes

perfume the only thing
no aunts or grandmothers have worn
a miniature vial, free with purchase
with signature store card
not even her name, embossed
on the platinum plastic

sunglasses indoors, as she pushes
the ridiculousness to the bottom
of her mother’s leather handbag,
brown with a few scuffs
no, it isn’t new
that’s good, right?



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