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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.

About the Author

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.