Primadonna

for Sherrice Iverson

Maybe you smiled. Ballanchine bright eyed. Twirled
around the hotel room to clapping hands. A ragged

innocent hole where two teeth used to be. Did your cherry
tongue wiggle against pink gums as you concentrated?

Everyone assumes you want
two front teeth for Christmas. How tired

are these adults? Grinning. Pinching admiration.
You squirm under indulgent smiles. Bold and graceful,

your toe in perfect pointe. Thin brown arms.
A maple picture frame for your baby fat face.

Did you pirouette in the lobby? Or releve,
arms splayed out in second. Foreshadow angels.

Your mother hushing your excitement. Were these the last
loving words you heard? Female flesh is tap water

sweet as communion wine. Women are for sale.
Maybe this is how Jeremy learned rape and murder:

ripe women so cheap and abundant,
little brown girls must be free.

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