Beneath her coat was a whole identity: A subtle form of ideas under soft fur, A constantly shifting mass of meaning... And somehow, she pulled it off. She would go for days without shedding a thing, And then, as if a bottle rolling off a counter, She would shatter, sending shards of self flying, And then we'd all see. Then we'd all see the terror, the joy, Then we'd all see the grief at nothing, Then we'd all hear her say, "I'm not built for a life with death in it." And slowly, she'd pick herself back up And find a brand new way to piece herself together And build herself a brand new smile And brush out her coat once more.
First-place winner of the Typewriter Emergencies Poetry Contest.