Skin's Dark Night Amy Pence

Expedient Means

She looks like a saucy ripening bean, the girl in her faded fatigues. Traffic blades
beyond the bricked marketplace, festooned with flags and banners,
past the open ruddy throats in the hibiscus, the twisting of some vine I
don’t know. She looks like creature comfort—just a little buxom and buttoned
at the center with a red rhinestone, an array of rings. So the body becomes
a vessel for this emptiness, expedient, open—underneath the tight soul enclosed—dreamlike in its little amphora, its tortoise shell.

She looks indelible, her blackened eye undramatic, factual. A drone as simple
as the locust goes up, the poor lantana shoved out of place by cigarette butts—
the alleyway flocked by tourists relegated to their last bastion of picture-taking,
a phosphorescent decay. There’s the clatter of the vacuous: the batterer
overly familiar to us, his sloe-eyed din, his fingers in the rungs of her.
These expedient means, bitten blessings, her young face smudged and iconic
as any downtown billboard.


February 2003 2River