It starts with the hemistich hitch in her step.

A henchwoman’s tell, regret stopping up the gait


with sediment. This moon’s stepdaughter can’t keep

swindling tarot cards and sneaking roofies


into her own whiskey-gingers, back tattooed

with bedsheet creases from sleeping till noon.


But she hates hesitation the most. Bring it back or don’t:

the bar’s blurry disciples, whispered skirmish


of kisses, the fingertips brushing the strings

secret as any affair. This mystery has outstripped


a thousand others: that she will still prostrate

herself for muchness. She will shove aside


her heretic intuition and angle into the swivel-hipped

wind, shrug her shoulder through the neck


of her sloppy blue dress, a shoal emerged

from the ocean, heart bare no matter the tide.


Elizabeth Vignali has had poems in various publications, including Willow Springs, Cincinnati Review, Tinderbox, Natural Bridge, and Nimrod. Her chapbook, Object Permanence, is available from Finishing Line Press.

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