“A long time ago, being crazy meant something. Now, everyone’s crazy.”

I sit in the garden

I am protected by the brown fence high on every side

So high that I can’t see over it on my five-foot-six-inch tip toes

I chain smoke and read a book about Charles Manson

The sky and my sweater are the same and grey, like the ash that clings to my sleeves

A small spider connects one end of its web to my fraying jeans (frayed like me, thin and cheap)

and the other end to the chair at my feet


I look up and the squirrels are closing in on me

They are planning their attack of bombs made of pine cones

The pigeons are in on it, too

But their bombs are bird shit


I turn my head and spit a fat glob of nicotine laced saliva onto the broken and dirty stone patio

The boys next door come out to enjoy the mild, dingy weather and they bring their obnoxious music with them

My neck hurts and I wonder if its cancer as the sun starts to set

Should I go inside and make myself a snack? I’m not hungry but at least the eating fills one part

of me

I pick at the skin on the side of my thumb

I have to cut my nails short and paint them red because otherwise there are yellow stains at their tips

I only have one bottle of polish which I replace for 99 cents every time it runs out or gets too gummy or the cap gets stuck to the rim


Yellow stains at my fingertips like daddy’s but he couldn’t hide vices under red polish

I think I can hide them

Mama would hate the way I am now


My wrists are heavy with seven rings, nine bracelets and a watch

All collected when there was such a thing as family vacations


I sit in the garden collecting cancer

Charles Manson hides in the trees and breathes in my smoke

Drops pine cones on my head

I think I’ll go make myself a snack