Ellen Hagan is a writer, actress, and educator. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2004 & 2008 and can be seen in Failbetter, America! What's My Name?, Check the Rhyme, and Submerged: Tales from the Basin. Ellen holds an MFA in fiction from The New School University and her debut book of poems: Crowned, will be published by Sawyer House Press in the winter of 2010.
perspective. one pair. black flip-flops
you were a girl still.
tank tops for every occasion.
salami sandwiches for lunch and
menthol cigarettes with tight
white- shirted boys at dinner.
wasn't the sitting in place, and
walking nowhere, magnificent?
not the right word? no. it
was brutal. no? maybe i'll need
a thesaurus. but you were
tanned legs and the kind of girl
who'd go anywhere. with any-
one. once. once you almost lost one
of me at sea. your clothes shed. your
curfew done, and you in the ocean, with
a boy who was not yours. but who
would have been able to keep you
anyway? and how i hate saying this,
but who would have wanted to
then? all nights of hitchhiking, halu-
cinations, tongues in mouths,
fists, fights and fast girlfriends.
none. none faster than you.
gianina bazaz. or mom
her nose is mine. the hook. slide.
the hump, then river of it. arab.
how many times do i claim it before
i am comfortable having it on my face?
her acne. back now. like hers, my skin
rages. chest. back. cheeks. neck. fore-
head. chin. nose. my god. my face,
a constellation. rugged with potholes.
the scarring marking me. my skin a design.
like hers. i see the deep pockets. the oil
slick we are. like me. like her.
my face. a map home.