by Danielle Mitchell

I’m a dumb blonde living in a dumb blonde’s body. She’s helping me learn to cope. She says write & I write with duct tape. There are dark silver X’s on all the mirrors. It’s very hard to make revisions. She says write what you know & I plug my nose with two fingers. My best dive is the cannonball. My velocity is beyond my control. I was a child afraid of everything—fire in the bed, sharks in the pool, my cousins. Tawny said the fat-mouthed drain would pull me in, every summer the pool deepened. The dumb blonde wants to fill her hair with Plumeria until there’s no room left for braids. She’s a mouth full of licorice & an overripe sweater. She’s a math quiz stuck in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner—it’s all equations of the trinity & doldrums in her. A pretty face under the bleachers calls Can I come up? It’s all gum stains & split popcorn down there, but that soft dirt, that’s where we’re digging. I’ll tell you everything she swears. Something in her past caused an absentia, she calls it The Great Blood, but that’s all we know. We are the girl who buried herself alive. We are the girl who walked five miles to tour a castle only to be turned away at the gate. The king still lives here! the guard told us. So she turned to me, crossed her arms & said We’ll wait.

IMAGE: “Duct Tape Repair” by Dale Kincaid. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

Danielle Mitchell Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danielle Mitchell is one of ten emerging poets featured in Pop Art: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry (Moon Tide Press). Her prose poems have appeared in journals such as Connotation Press, decomP, Union Station Magazine, Cease, Cows & Freeze Ray. Danielle directs The Poetry Lab in Long Beach, California, where she hosts workshops & craft seminars. She is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers & holds degrees in Women’s Studies & Creative Writing from the University of Redlands. She currently guest writes for DIY MFA & blogs at poetryofdanielle.com.