by Lana Bella

I walk up the stairs and into the neon-lit
boudoir. Inside, my fingers pick through
sundry dresses hanging on the metal
hooks, abandon the first nine that look
expensive for the last one that feels plain,
deliberate in my struggle to discard old
history, bending toward the quiet earth,
my bone is all spine and timidity.

The sky outside dims to a darker shade
of mauve, with hesitation, I step out onto
the ledge where the windowsill splinters
away, speckles of dust and spider web
gather there at the timber seam. A brief
travel to its half-scaffold are low moan
and red-rimmed eyes, each step feels
strange beneath the flesh.

In the fading light faint enough to give me
shivers, I look down, knowing no cloud will
cushion my fall, and no vulture yet to pick
through the dark-splotched entrails. I let the
tips of my fingers span like yawns between
strangers, gripping the window ledge. There,
I step back inside the room, limbs shake
and cold lips sputter. Given the scale of such
lunacy, I laugh, pour myself a cold drink,
escaping into the bourbon glass that washes
clean my new feminine motif.

LanaBellaA Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), and has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 230 journals, including California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Plainsongs, Pure Slush, The Writing Disorder, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere, among others. She resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.