A New Kind of Clean

The coffee shop
opens in an hour and a half.
I peel myself out of bed.
I slept in my clothes, and somehow
I wriggle into a bra
without taking my warm, wrinkled shirt off.

When I was a college kid–
and we all know “college kid” is just a euphemism
for drug addict. When
i was a college girl–
and everyone knows
what a girl is (don’t they?)

In college, I’d
peel myself out of bed, and
open the rattly bottom drawer of my dorm desk,
where I kept my dingy addictions:
this one for the body,
this one for the mouth.

When I was a girl,
I needed womanhood–
not the kind with an applicator–
but the kind the
doctor prescribed me for
nerves, the kind my boyish friend
told me not to fuck with,
the kind the pothead, the so-called
dopefiendqueen asked me to sell her.
By the time
I decided
No, not tonight,
it had gotten late, and I was already wondering:

What have I gotten myself into this time?

The body doesn’t shake
anymore. I don’t wake up empty,
craving, screaming for chemical snow I
don’t wash my hair with acid rain.
This is a new kind of clean.


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