Anthems For a Seventeen Year-Old Girl

after Broken Social Scene

by Olivia Treynor

The deer with one antler lives
tonight. In the green studded dusk
I ask the fog for oxygen. I’ve never

been to a trailer park. I think god is a round thing
I can fit in my mouth. My boy knows

how to put things between teeth:
gumsnarl, cheekbite, bonewhite.
Digestion starts at the tongue. Freeze your eggs

before you get old. When your mother was my age

she was reliving her lunch and spoiling her teeth
and counting the reasons to live on one hand.
I’ve been getting stoned and letting the cement
baptize me new. When they asked me to cut

the pig in half I said I can’t, I don’t like blood.
I want my boy to get wasted
and then want me. All my friends split
their wrists. My aunt says if you draw blood
when you pick, it’s because you want to die.
I had more bones, once,
my skull was bloated with teeth. In the plaster cast
of my newborn hand, I’m still small and my fingers
are uncut. I saw a ghost when I was seven
and I’d tell my boy if he’d promise
to keep my secrets someplace the light can’t touch them.
I think about crashing my car constantly. All the cliffs
seem like good hiding places. I never got the treehouse.

I let a stranger wash their beer on my teeth
and drove to the Salton Sea barefoot
and did not crash and did not draw blood,
thank god, thank god,
I changed.

I know why the turtle doves
erupt, shirkers.

Olivia Treynor is a Barnard College student from the upper half of California. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Southeast Review, CutBank, Yemassee, phoebe journal and elsewhere. She loves lakes but is scared of the ocean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s