Amy

is crooning bird with
beehive nest built from soul
is sixty five years inside body of young girl
loves jazz and destructive boy
looks at him the way her voice does microphone
eyes are drawn black like cat’s and she
sings the way a tail curls along wood floor
graceful  effortless  confident

shaina maidel with
a gap between her two front bent teeth
echoed laugh and studded diamond above her lip
jewish girl who wears
star of David around her neck belts
songs she writes with scratching fingers against
ink covered arms
pretty girl loves heroin and crack pipe and liquor
has a crooked mouth but hums melodies
smooth as the heart is aching

pink ballet slippers stain red
from pricks between toes
bulimia makes a home in her habits
empties stomach after every meal
makes more room for wine and vodka and whisky with coke
stumbles across a stage she does not belong to while
the audience boos and mocks while
the paparazzi stalks and preys and while
the media criticizes and
a world that doesn’t quite understand does the same

we watch her disaster like
a car accident
unable to stop staring at the damage
we watch her downfall like
an avalanche in another city
it isn’t ours so we do nothing to save it

this disappearing act is not magic but
a side effect of fame unwanted
dad doesn’t understand that skin and
bones is foreshadow of death
says, baby, smile for the camera
baby, just do what you’re supposed to
baby, just finish the tour
suck every last ounce out of her like
the wringing of a towel
it is an easy thing for a girl to become
invisible when she wants to
enough

crooning bird falls from tree and
we watch with hands at our side
bodies tilted in confusion
what a shame, we say
there is depth but it is hiding under addiction
all we see is girl destroying herself under
the fluorescents we placed above her
what a waste, we say, shaking heads
we do nothing in response

my love,
you tore boundaries with your swollen hands
they said your honest was too loud
hair too big
voice too bold
they picked with curious fingers and
gap-tooth jew girl with
the audacity to break silence
ended up breaking too

shaina maidel with
a space between her two front bent teeth
echoed laugh and studded diamond above her lip
jewish girl who could never be a star became just that
burned into supernova
graceful  effortless  confident in her
descent back to
black

(For Amy Winehouse)

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