The Green House Girls by Avery Lane
Sipping from chipped green glasses,
Her grandmother’s, she says
We are three young horses, out of the corner of your eye
Look more closely, we are three girls
Eternal summer ripped from reason.
Heels hang like calloused tongues out of penny-thrill sandals,
Socks with girlish flowers and filth growing under toe
She’s pouring wine over heavily ringed fingers,
She’s elsewhere, perusing paintings in her Italy,
I’m chewing yarrow, seeking symmetry in my brow.
We collect elvish brooches, the cheaper the better,
The freer, the greater the story behind them.
She’s collecting knick-knacks in her hair,
Which has its own mind,
It gathers objects until she glistens like a spider queen.
Since we sat down on this hillside,
We’ve forgotten how long it’s been
The house behind us with faded edges,
Like our mothers’ influence.
Our smiles you can miss like a sunrise,
If you don’t give it all your time
Our legs pour into the ground like milk.
We are joyful and mid-canter,
It is always 4 o’clock, almost time to go inside,
Watches shatter when they’re near us, human fingers count all there is to know.
She wears layers of shawls that weave and avoid her bike wheels, somehow
Our words go back and forth, skipping over our shoulders and slithering on the pavement.
We search for the music, it ricochets off the walls near fourth and seventh
Follow it on our bikes through black and blue nights
In a dream, I found it
They take acid and I roll, up to the rooftops of downtown
Colors wrapped around our heads and the sun is bright as a bad boy
We talk to men with small, fierce lungs, serrated baby teeth,
Who had dusty elbows growing up, boys righteous as little lions.
Downtown dies around us, closing the door
So the dolls can wake up.
The best kind of laugh
Comes from us at men’s expense, it’s deep inside our bodies.
She’s cooking pasta in the flesh-colored kitchen
Guarding the process like she’s building a bomb
She leads us in a round of drunken voices, any thigh a drum, at 3 a.m.
We are on the mountain, watching trees grow as boys become blue with cold
We grow brighter, younger, ageless
Urban nymphs who know the doormen and back of the house
Better than we do our brothers.
We are stubble, and veins on the backs of knees, walking fast through the underpass
Past the man who screams at sidewalks.
We will leave now, and have already forgotten you.
We lay in the ever grass, under clouds who stick around,
We are the green house girls.
Avery Lane is a graduate student working toward her PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology at WSU. Her poetry is very much inspired by her hometown of Tucson, AZ and its beautiful and bizarre residents. She is still learning how to be both a scientist and a poet. She would like to thank the people in her life who make her want to write poetry; they know who they are.