Amy by Sophia Blackwell

Always an old-school girl, you loved your Death Discs.
Car-crash songs to cry to with big-haired, black-eyed chicks
crooning doomed lovers into hairpin bends
on rain-slicked roads at night. The click of a track
as it skipped. Your odds were stacked. The whisper in your blood.
The shakes. The bone-deep aches. The car that wouldn’t stop.
Ghosts spoke to you on vinyl over a screech of brakes.

*

That voice of yours held years of unknown pain
right from the very start. That blistered, crackling croon
conjured dark rooms that no longer exist, rich with heartbroken notes,
full of sharp-dressed girls with empty purses and old shoes.
You were excited, then. Curvaceous, fresh-skinned, new,
your dirty schoolgirl mouth gave birth to that new-old blues.
Notes flew easy as breath from the ruptured velvet of your throat.

*

You told us you were trouble. You were magnificent, a star
right to the end, a staggering, ruined queen
far from your old flowered gowns and white guitars.
You teamed that Ronette-high barnet with T-bird jeans
and wore your thin-skinned past like a fret of scars,
brain full of guttering stars, arms laced with ink
as though your veins had opened and leaked sailor’s dreams.

*

You were gone long ago, eyes like wounded crows
drifting out of the frame. Under the zigzag banner of your name,
you were razored by spotlights, bruised in the red-tops,
used by a rat-faced boy. At nights you lay, eighty-eight pounds or so
of tear-drenched weight curled on the kitchen floor. Money, fame, sure,
but not a shard of bone, a sequin scale, a swatch of hair to call your own,
knowing- until now, anyway – you could never go home any more.

Sophia Blackwell’s site

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