Glass Poetry Press

Volume Four Issue Two

Laura Sobbott Ross

At Age Twelve

— for Julia On Saturday nights she dances alone in her room. The walls, a shade of blue-green called Belize. Zebra striped rug, a catch-all for lint and spinning, her antique mirror quivering with techno bass. On her dresser, a palette of eye shadow and lip gloss hinges open like a keyboard. She plays at being a woman, trails her fingertips across the iridescence, is pinioned on high notes of pumps borrowed from her mother's closet. She collects Mardi Gras masks, plumes and sequins, wraps her Barbie doll minions in duct tape miniskirts. Her paintings whisper a different story — shell pink heart with angel wings and halo, sunflowers in an Earth shaped vase, and her mother's favorite — freefalling leaves and feathers, a riotous migration caught midair. In the morning her mother gathers a trail of eggshells and apple cores, watches the birds outside her daughter's window and wonders why God gifted them with both song and flight, despite such fragile, hollow bones. Her nested princess wearing ebony gloss on her toenails and fearing no ocean. The blue jay opening its wings to the morning sky like a black tipped flower.