Piñata Girl

This is our masquerade.
You visitor
are the uninvited.
we are
in here.
White knuckles
disturb the entrance door.
Our lives resonate slow motion
turtle back ears
Gregorian chant
for the unsound.From the cathedral ceiling
our smoking room
hangs a dead girl
disguised as a piñata
where lungs submerge down
institution issued chicory cigarettes
of the rat tail kind.

Three-legged table
wobbles bravely
in the corner
offers cans of liquid cheese
dates expired
adds zing to unsalted crackers
devoured party wafers.
Not holy.

Stoned on fruit punch spiked with Stelazine
through my opaque mask
Piñata Girl’s body sways
sways softly
crazy stray hair.
Ruptured vessels surface
her anemic face in bloom.
Confetti twinkles between the slits
of hereyes
as Piñata Girl cracks a wink.
Dressed as paper dolls
in paper gowns
we hang from lopsided shoulders
dangle and turn as mobiles do
harmonize identical frequencies
with the dead girl –
with the dead girl
we become the dark.
We dance like bumper cars
nibble party favors
pretend to be having a good time
we don’t know different.
we don’t know time
time is all we have.

Someone hands me a stick for my turn.
To the beat of white-knuckle bass
on the entrance door
I beat Piñata Girl.
Everyone witnesses her kamikaze sunrise
how every strike to stuffed flesh
how the girl’s insides burn
into delicate stars.
Keys unlatch heavy metal doors
rush in their tired miracles –
only I can hear
the music taken with her.

The dead we know we are
we savor the girl
gather her parts
while Keys play God
drug induce a revival
for Piñata Girl
leaving us behind.

My mouth impacted with sugar drops
I find my way into the lounge
turn on Saturday morning cartoons
they feel
like home.

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Chachee Valentine

Chachee Valentine’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Stolen Island Review, Lullwater Review, Fugue, P’an Ku, In-Site Magazine, Words & Images, Alchemy, Prairie Margins, Askew, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Eunoia Review, The Parliament Literary Journal and 11 Mag Berlin. Chachee was one of seventeen finalists for the Rita Dove Poetry award in Salem, NC, placed second at Emory University’s Lullwater Review Prize for Poetry, was the recipient of the Rosemary Cox Poetry Award at Georgia State University and her short story, Prick, was a quarterfinalist for Screencraft 2021. Chachee lives in Santa Fe, NM and is majoring at IAIA in Creative Writing.