We traipse without maps through forests
And alleyways and frats–
Plastic whistles and mace.
A warrior–just 23–sinks beneath a cardigan
That swallows her whole. She says,
“I don’t want my body anymore.”
Last night they followed me to bed—
Not wooden-skinned teenagers in hooded sweatshirts,
Watching the rain bounce off the pavement,
Or children made of fading charcoal,
Lying on the playground. Motionless, cold,
They’re like cartoons, their frowning faces
On the news, straining to make a sound.
It’s not them we should fear
As we pull our coats a little closer,
Skirts a little lower, gripping the drinks
In our hands. We speak in codes, paint on grins
For men with paper-white skin and socks on their doorknobs,
Private school legacies with solid gold shields.
Alexis Sears is a native of Palos Verdes, California, and is a Writing Seminars student at Johns Hopkins University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages North and Zeniada Literary Magazine