Rhonda Schmidt, Southern Methodist University
It’s Tuesday and Lilly’s here again,
taking a break from turning tricks outside
the one-hour motel,
as the blistering summer heat turns
the asphalt into a mirage.
“I’m just an old crack-head,” she says,
stretching her legs under the metal desk between us,
straightening the long black wig on her head,
as perspiration drips slowly down her face,
forcing a smile over her burned lip.
I gaze at her over my computer.
Bruises cover her arms, her white go-go boots are almost brown.
I write on my computer words like
“homeless, drug abuse, bipolar.”
And she tells me a joke that makes us both smile,
thanking me, for no reason at all.
And I will write her a prescription that most likely
And my neighbor will tell me when I get home,
that her sprinkler system isn't working and the landscape
people don't answer their phone,
And it's too hot outside to do anything.
Copyright © 2016 by Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs