Tear sheet

pseudonym aside
we didn’t recognize

our cousin
on the cover of Cosmo

that lay on the nest
like any other magazine

waiting to be picked up,
pressed open down its spine –

the gloss of it on our lips,
its blade-thin edges smooth

its smell in our nostrils
acrid, addictive

yet inviting
as virgin snow –

neither did we recognize
her heavier build

her ghostly rouge
those slubs in her fabric of speech

the childish tee-shirt
and short white socks

the only good fortune
neither did she