Artful Dodger

by gm

Jennifer Pederson


silk was thin as i could get without being naked
and i let the wind push it slick to my skin
birds skimming the water crying ah, ah
like the eyes of men who tried to hide their looking

dodger expected nothing anymore
guitar strung backward
everything upside down

he smiled
and wanted to sing for me
so i followed him further
and let his rough high voice
roll over me
let his sad eyes
touch me
until i said i had to go

i wanted to tell him about my two-dollar shoes
i gave him cigarettes

when they held the hotel doors for me
their deference sat hard on my tongue
like a precious, poisoned stone