She has spent too many years trading oxygen for smog.
(Was she not once an optimist? One would have sworn that she was, this country girl, the dew of rural grass behind her ears, eye sockets white and fresh, heart tremorous and trusting, blind to its own schemes.).
On a Sunday afternoon, she sits sidelong in her car, her body stretched across driver and passenger seats: a bridge. Four rows of vehicles speed across the road of her vision. Behind her ear (long dry), a dead tree stands on the sidewalk (as though it is among the living, as though cement is its fertile soil).
Before her, high above the greedy, clamorous traffic, graffiti curtains the windows of an abandoned warehouse.
Next door, scaffolding pretends to prepare for another promised new construction.
They can build, but this girl won’t be here.