Mall Flower

by Tina Barry

I've blown out my shag haircut

and it's big.

BIG-big. Cool


With the mirrored halter-top

and jeans chopped into shorts.


I'm psyched for the mall


And its food court, where I strut

the aisles on swizzle

stick legs

past Jahn's green whipped cream,

past Beefsteak Charlies,

past the crepes at Magic Pan,

past the Nut Shoppe's chocolate



To buy cigarettes at Mr. Pipe

where Scott wears an afro

and a star of David,

ties a red bandana

to the loop of white overalls,

and asks me to meet him

behind Cinnabon

where I wait, back pressed

against cinderblocks,

face tilted to the sun,

knowing, as I suck

the smoke in deep,

that I'm a fox.

A    total    fucking    fox.