What were you wearing?


                                       Thirst in the belly. Was it

                                       a ripeness? Too blue

                                       oceans for eyes to hide

                                       the drought in me. A mouth.


How much did you have to drink?


                                       I reached into the darkness

                                       and it reached back. Firewater.

                                       Gasoline. My good, good shame.


Did you know them?


                                       It’s just us, babe. A dry drowning.

                                       All that thirst.


Why did you get in the car with them that night?


                                       Rust on the tongue. Palm

                                       on the nape. A carnival

                                       game. Keep your eye

                                       on the small object. Quick

                                       which cup is it?


Did you say no? Did you fight?


                                       One smelled of snuffed out

                                       matches. One’s skin scrubbed

                                       inside like the pool table lining.

                                       My feet are slashed tires.

                                       One wore my mouth

                                       like a repossession.


What were you wearing?


                                       The pink stain of every pretty name

                                       they hung from my body.

Victoria Lynne McCoy's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Best New Poets, The Offing, Drunken Boat, The Collagist, The Paris-American, and Washington Square Review, among others. She earned her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Long Beach, California.