the breathing girl has died


she’s happy it finally happened
that she’s not coming home
that she’s collecting all the coal
that would have been diamonds


for the first time, good lord
thank goodness that phrase
isn’t pinned to all the
lost girls anymore, evermore!


for really reals this time
she’s not that stupid girl
full of shame sickles
but feverish to be living


in a real specific way
all atoms and cells
are deranged, or rearranged
just as they should be, anymore


like broken cemetery leaves
she dances in deep blood orange
not just another beauty queen
in fuchsia lipstick on an empty pew



for Real Toads


28 thoughts on “the breathing girl has died

  1. There’s a kind of breathless sense of relief which comes as one reads down the list, and the final stanza is quite beautifully rendered.

  2. Death should really be a chance of a new start, being able to put all the mistakes behind, and somehow make up for all the things you wanted to do but didn’t. All of collect a lot of coal in our lives perhaps that will turn to diamonds later! How moving this poem is.

  3. Oh, you! This is what you do, see. The way you word things is never the ordinary way. Look at your title. The breathing girl. Every stanza has something similarly inventive. The coal/diamonds. The second stanza in its simple and sharp perfection. “Pinned’ is the perfect word. A sign hung upon them and then hung upon themselves; a murmuring of vague obscenities at 17. And then, and then. And ending with “and.” You killed it, angie.

    1. This prompt felt different, almost an invitation to not make any blithering sense…but my inner critic undoubtedly inserted some logic and reality. My daughter kept asking if this was about me, and when I waffled she said, ya it’s you. 😊 Im glad you thought it was inventive because I tried to write free. Thank you for keeping it 💯and inspiring me with your poetry as well. God knows I need to read others before I pick out my own words to wordsmith. Oh! And I just got your “killing it pun!” Lol

  4. I love this, Angie. I love the form, the shape, the incorporated title and especially the lines:
    ‘… she’s collecting all the coal
    that would have been diamonds’
    ‘all atoms and cells
    are deranged, or rearranged’
    ‘like broken cemetery leaves
    she dances in deep blood orange’.

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