THAT GIRL by Sarah Freligh

we used to laugh at, the girl who walked the hallways head-down, cold-shouldered by lockers, who blistered her fingers twisting Kleenex into flowers for homecoming floats the cool girls would ride on, yeah, that girl

was nobody we knew until she went missing and then we remembered how in first grade she peed a puddle that spread and smelled of cheese and fish and scattered the class until the janitor showed up with a broom and a pail of red dust, remembered the Show and Tell in fifth grade when she shared the broken glass she’d found on the street and swore it was amber, remembered how some guys at our high school spray-painted her name across the stadium bleachers where they used to fuck her and how they laughed at her afterward

that girl

who will be winched-up blue and broken from a lake and live on forever as a yearbook picture on a TV screen, dust of blush, lipstick pinking her mouth, nobody we remember, that girl was nobody we knew. 


Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis; A Brief Natural History of an American Girl (Accents Publishing, 2012), Sort of Gone (Turning Point Books, 2008) and We, forthcoming from Harbor Editions in late 2020. Recent work has been featured on Writer’s Almanac, appeared in the Cincinnati Review miCRo series, SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Fractured Lit, and in the anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018) and Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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