The paper-skin woman
was begging at the corner,
or was she asking? Perhaps
it was as simple as hope.
How many in the cars grinding past
Ruin had come by earlier
wearing a party dress. She said
she was giving up the ghost, but
the paper-skin woman wasn’t interested
in ghosts. Or the invisible. Or facsimiles.
The paper-skin woman had come to believe
the only thing worth saving was an anxious truth
and she knew how it carried itself
and the timbre of its voice
and how it could look pretty in the pink light of dusk.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.