GIRL AS SOLE WITNESS

CHERYL QUIMBA

Skin confounded her.
It was also everywhere. She could not stop
seeing softness and so took to riding the bus.

One day an older gentleman gave her a bowl in haste
and tugged the cord in front of the library

to disembark.

*

A phone booth. She rolled out of sight
and back again. She could be

everywhere. Where else to be.
She could remember the peeling skin

of sunburns and the vertigo

from an airplane as it taxied backwards.
Around her other planes herded silent and still.

*

She was stretched out on a map
unfolded on floor. Her limb were also
nations engaged in battle.

Throughout her life
the doorbell would ring, shattering

the smaller bones of her body.

She pressed her weight
firmly towards earth. Her skin
imprinted with borders.

*

Never mind she didn’t much
like to speak. The place where she stood was a monument

until she gathered up her handbag and coat
and moved.

How she grasped the banister.

Where
else to be.

*

A tugboat was tied to the dock where some rope lay wet in the sunshine, limp.

*

And who loved her. The doorbell ringing.

The rain shower holding
steady. She could see this

and she knew this and she could
see this.

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