Somewhere, a girl is taking
her clothes off in an empty
bathroom. She carefully folds
her cotton underwear. Her father’s
dry-cleaning shop is narrow
and moist. In the shirt closet,
irons are always hanging
from the ceiling. When she smokes,
she sits down in an alley,
rise for fifteen minutes every day.
Around the water pipe,
ants are dying. When white
bubbles cover her left thigh,
her fingers trace her jagged
skin. She counts the ripples
and pushes them
hard with her nails.
Water never washes away her burns.
From the innermost room,
her father calls her name. She ties
her wet hair. The yellow towel is so
soft in a laundry basket.
Note: A part of the first stanza is from Day 2: You Must Not Quarrel With an Animal / by Diana Khoi Nguyen. The way she used spaces in her poem is unbelievably fantastic.