I've seen ghost towns in their eyes // Marisa Silva-Dunbar

I’ve seen ghost towns in their eyes


She wrote about traveling through Europe,

sent pictures of her pink high heels,

and her new friends with tight smiles.

(I wondered if they had just met the real her.)

She likes to collect looks from strangers

(but they better not stare at you),

smirks when their eyes linger on her bare legs.

She’s still trying to get over the guitarist

who loved cocaine more than he loved her.

Though he liked the way she’d drape

herself over him in public (and that she let him fuck

her with the door open when her roommates were home).

He was smart (like her (mostly absent) father),

she would ask him to muse about Proust, and play songs

at dinner parties—he was better than the other boyfriends.

He left after she wanted him to shine up and be her arm candy.


At twenty we stole cake from the neighbor boys.

We laughed when the red frosting stuck to our fingertips.

In the dingy kitchen she’d put on the radio and we’d dance

around snapping towels at each other’s backsides.

It’s a looped memory. Things fall apart, second string boys

swim between us. I wanted to be like Ava and Lana,

who shared more than cigarettes and lipstick.

I’ve heard she’s forgotten about him,

just missed the way he’d hold her hand

when the other boys were out of town.

I saw her in a crowded café with her new man,

she was already getting bored,

looking for someone to tell her they like

the curve of her hips, and that: yes, you’re prettier than the one before.

This poem originally appeared in Spider Mirror.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar’s work has been published in Chantarelle's Notebook, Sixfold, Constellate Literary Journal, Rose Quartz Journal, Awkward Mermaid, Spider Mirror Journal, Mojave He[art] Review, Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, Poetry WTF?!, Better than Starbucks Magazine, Redheaded Stepchild, Words Dance Magazine and Gargoyle Magazine. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry, and has been shortlisted twice for the Eyewear Publishing Fortnight Poetry Prize. She has work forthcoming in Barren Magazine, Pussy Magic, Midnight-lane Boutique, and The Same.

Image by Daniel Hoherd

#poetry #marisasilvadunbar #reprint #friendship #girls #vol7

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