Women and Children First
Like rabbits in a bunker.
Spit the seeds on the floor.
Wipe your mouth on your sleeve.
Practice holding your breath:
the trick is to think of balloons,
especially blue ones.
Now wait until they call your name
then plant it in the trench.
You may not be allowed
to wear it again for a time.
This is where the old wives are kept,
swept in a pile of lint to the corner.
Their throats rasp with past cigarette burns,
bright as berries. If you ask them:
this is where they come from.
I sold my hair to catch this train,
scalped your ticket
for a pair of feet
a pair of scissored limbs
then cut the string around my wrist.
Now you will not know me.
I wash out my mouth with soap,
count these stops that punctuate
escape like a telegram.
I will take it to the end of the tracks,
voicebox in my hands. Find
the boardwalk, the ferris wheel,
the ocean and the neon light.
Lindsay Lusby is the new Assistant Director of The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. So far, her work has appeared here and in The Coachella Review. She also likes to print things with the press in her living room while watching Alien for the umpteenth time. Ellen Ripley might be her role model. You should read her blog at www.ontopofgoosehill.blogspot.