Too tall of a girl flying off the yellow bus.

Same bleach-sparkled shirt,

pushes Clara (who she desperately wants to be friends with)

spits into the grass, and

since she’d wrinkled a good impression,

spits again ‘cuz she knows I hate it.


But she’s got a joker crazy smile, holds

her gum half way out

says, You wanna piece?


I’m good, I smile and

high five a how are you,

as a little boy asks what’s for snack.


You’re ugly, she tells him.


Fast forward

           Kicked off the bus for fighting.

           Kicked off computers for pushing,

           Myspace-ing, You Tube-ing, and writing YOU SUCK on everybody’s screens.

           Kicked outta home ‘cuz her mama

           can’t get between her daughter and a drink

           and a father can’t father from prison.


And this morning she didn’t have time

to grease her hair down

so she is two times the girl she usually is.

A story big enough to get lost in

and she is trying to tame it, pull it back

in case someone might

see her.


She is beautiful, and I tell her so.

Her eyes look left as she comes out of hiding,

stops breathing for three seconds

while she decides

what kind of beautiful

she wants to be.