i knew a girl once
whose fingernails were painted citrus
lemon, orange, and green
as if she was personal friends
with the rainforest and all those within, like she
had been born out of a coconut
and crawled out fully formed, stretched her arms and walked away.
athena. daughter. goddess.
a million boys wanted her -
her white-blond silk threads of hair
and winterskyeyes vulnerable and so thin
like they could snap her and her coconut-pale skin
into fragments of china exotic if they tried.
'it gives them power,' she used to write in her journal,
in that spidery hand. she would kiss them
and run her white hands through their hair, and they enjoyed it
and afterwards she'd go home wherever it was,
spend her nights in alternate patterns
of sleep, regret, and poetry, writing in black ink
on her arm like parchment. paint her nails the colours
of love, she thought, like someone would pack her kiwi
in a bag lunch instead of just pressing their hands