Bones by Alan Catlin

If she actually had a picture
in the high school yearbook,
it would have shown a tall,
maybe one hundred pound,
flat chested girl with a half dozen
clearly visible homemade tattoos
suggesting a like amount of ink
in places no one was ever likely to
see this side of an autopsy table.
Where her full name and activities
should have been listed would be
a single phrase in quotes, “Bones”.
Activities: None
Awards: None
Voted most likely to die before
the age of 30 of an overdose.

Ten years later she is still kicking,
barely, though, if anything, she’d
lost weight on her special Organ
Failure Diet that ages one double time,
guarantees hair loss and sallow,
sagging, discolored skin.
She won’t smile since she lost
most of her teeth, only opens
her mouth to insert cigarette,
light, inhale, exhale, and repeat when

She still hangs by the old
school as that is where her best
customers/ suppliers hang.
Might even have graduated if she’s
actually gone to class as they were
putting everyone through as long as
their names appeared on an attendance
sheet in order to score more state aid.
Everyone is hooked on something
these days.

acatlin multi

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere. His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents. He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine


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