she’s a tangle of half-filled notebooks
crumpled book jackets.
the post-it note on her bathroom mirror—
“STILL I RISE” in careful, all-caps calligraphy—
screams every morning that
is the only one who can
but when she meets the boy
with the magnifying-glass eyes
and the Kerouac tattoos,
she can’t help but want to find the constellations in him,
to trace his thoughts
into a beautiful painting of stars.
she plucks the cigarette
from his spiderleg fingers,
and as the friendly smoke fills her lungs,
she imagines how easy it would be to let him heal her wounds.
instead she lets the roll of white paper and tobacco
fall to the concrete
and meet the soft hot rubber
of her purple combat boots.