The Neighborhood Girls Watch Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Pleasant is the memory of past troubles. —Cicero
To hang the tagline from the line like stockings—
“HER SKYSCRAPER LIMBS,
HER GIANT DESIRES!”—to watch the letters tatter
in the storm: the “Rs” rent, the “Ss” slit
and sopping—oh no, we will not
bring them in. Cue the winds to wave
their horror harder. The music creeps
until we’re no one’s daughters. Suddenly, our waxed legs
waxing: gibbous, full—our periods
wonky: someone make a Rite Aid run
and buy a test! Our eyes grow eye-level
with the thunder, our rings bust open
around our fingers—our pupils
widen to coliseums in the dark. Shall we let
the games begin? Rest a hand
against our gulps: feel a range of mountains
move. Up here, our hair
Medusas out—what gravity
has fled the scene. Constellation
consternation: we cloud with clouds
and lunar stations. Orion’s belt—the crescent’s
prick—oh lord, is this a treat?
A trick? From here, revenge
to enjoy. Let’s revise our retribution
in memory of old proportions.
malorum: try it on
now, we hardly feel it
when men look up
and wish upon our thighs.
The Neighborhood Girls Rise Like Man-Eating Zombies
The zombies’ depurposed, aimless persistence in the films had special resonance in 1970s Pittsburgh. —Hugh S. Manon on George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead
Zero-in on our alphabet. You’ll find yourself
worked up like the sunrise
over the Rust Belt. Expect us
where you least expect us. We aren’t too low
to stoop. Veering, we gain a foothold. Unilateral
movement. Together, we stagger like the Bald Man
staggers at the dive bar, a Cleveland Browns shirt taut
across his beer belly. Suppose you’ve seen better
backing your daddy’s Chevy down the driveway.
Rare to meet girls like us who like men
rare as you. Quit running—just last week
we took your order
at this Dairy Queen, remember? Pegged you
for a cone-boy but watched you down
a sundae. On your left, that woman blond enough
to stir fury. Nights of reanimation.
Mister, did you see her eat that chili dog?
Let’s just say that something
keeps these Rust Belt women
hungry. Ketchup with your fries? Join us later
at the bar?—just past the turnpike, Vindy
vendor beneath the awning. It’s a place to kill
an afternoon. Head over and we’ll meet you.
Go on, don’t you trust us? Forget
who we are? Employees of the month!
Dig these work visors—high-
patriotic. Call us sometime, can we call you
baby? Baby, we’re hungry
for a good time. An American
Allison Pitinii Davis is author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award in Poetry, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize. She holds fellowships from Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Severinghaus Beck Fund for Study at Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2016, The New Republic, Crazyhorse, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. She is a PhD student at The University of Tennessee, where she serves as a poetry editor at Grist.