[after Terrence Hayes & “The Dead Girl Suite” by Brentley Frazer]

Everyone keeps writing poems about dead girls and I don’t think
I’m much better. These men held chainsaws

far too early in life. They buried her in 3 closets
of broken shoes, smoothed her braid over vanilla
shock of thighs. She is still

your daughter. Sucks rocks instead of chewing
gum. I’m not a monster, I’m sick. Did you think

to check the green address book? Missing cheerleader
found safe in Lifetime movie. Everyone
else still blonde.

Fill up, move here, break back. The undead
wearing lipstick, heaving pearls, sullen-
lipped, thinning.

Let’s watch movies with red-tipped
girls. You know the one in the leather
skirt will die first – it doesn’t breathe

either. They chainsmoke with dirty eyes, slide
tablets behind tongues, hold hands tight
til they bruise. I thought dead girls love

wine coolers. She was the opposite of what
he thought he was shooting.

He had seen her

shame. I saw her on the Metro & she tied
her scarf around a pole. Train yourself, easy. I think
about this dead girl-child, of ghosts

with flower-crowns. The worldwide war
on baby girls. I think you stole
my candles. Some girls sleep

in tanks of water. Remember when that dead girl
from the club touched my jacket?
She was never
your friend.


              The name of the game is cool
              & we’ll begin with one new bride
              and two diamond solitaries.

Your hands look like a Christmas
tree fire, peeling fat from bone.
Rope nails                     shift in jelly stomach

              beat into palms.
              It would be nice to reclaim
              my senses. The secret

to longevity is raw eggs
& having someone else peel
your carrots. Filter coffee

              with your hands.
So present, so grateful.
2 out of 3 drowning cases

              have this startling fact in common–
              I say these things not to shock you
                     but because you expect me to.

We have our routines: I eat salad with my hands
to hurt you. The queen of greens. I am the queen
of purified blood & cayenne pepper.

              Be careful of the shells – if your mouth
              starts burning, you’re already
              too late.

Eve Kenneally is a second-year MFA student at the University of Montana, from Boston by way of DC. Her chapbook, Something Else Entirely will be released by Dancing Girl Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Yemassee, decomP, Star 82 Review, Sugared Water, Blue Monday Review, and elsewhere.