Teenage girl in the suburbs, smoking weed in her car:


By Allison Emily Lee

On the beach
I collected salt in metal trays
to make a broth

I consult a book/I hold a crystal
I wonder if I will ever stop
making and unmaking myself

Under the moon
I braid my hair/make a circle
counterclockwise
with a beeswax candle            in my hands

At the end of the day
I wash my face/brush my teeth/try to dream

I am a bad bitch
I am a queen
I curl my lips and show my teeth

I am a piece of cosmic dust
caught under my mother’s mother’s mother’s            tongue
a pearl in the faraway look in her eye

I sit in a car smoking spliffs,
blowing the smoke through a dryer sheet and
out the window

I am a good girl            I listen to the radio
and every song is about me
my hair is clean
my nails are white moons on the tips
of my fingers

I press the salt crystals to my lips
I drink the broth
I inhale the smoke
I turn off the radio

and go inside                        the lawns are almost black in the
shadows of the streetlamps
far away the river of the highway
will shush-shush-shush me to sleep


Allison Emily Lee’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bop Dead City, Severine, Public Pool, Lit.Cat and Lady. Her first chapbook, Daphne Stories (Bitterzoet Press), is coming out in 2017. She is the founder and editor of Daphne Magazine an online magazine for new poets.