Skip to main content
By Rosebud Ben-Oni

We enrolled at barbizon

Knowing full well

We’d never look like

What was promised

Cue carol of the bells

Cue a demo on the casio

And the security of two-way

Escalators setting the speed

Those early mornings

In our mall school

The store’s silver grills

Some mannequins left

Half-clothed

We’d taunt them

With our imagined summers

In london paris rome

We weren’t please and thank you

Walking with books on our heads

No we were going to devastate

Greek shipping heirs

At every port of call


Yet when our bus broke down

And we trudged the shoulder

Of highways

Single file

Dodging cigarette butt and horn

We shook off those mornings

Studied

Their defenseless

Indifference

The blinding surface

The quality of electric

Without being alive

We knew that there

In only hot pants

The ideal form

Plastic

Most would take a bullet for


                                                   While at 16

We were already trash-talking

Our prayers never went beyond

The second floor

Light-years away

From the last word

That distant somewhere

Where a boat loses course

The north star forsaking

Its name to another


Source: Poetry (March 2015)

Poet Bio

The daughter of a Mexican mother and Jewish father, fiction writer, playwright and poet Rosebud Ben-Oni earned a BA at New York University and a MFA at the University of Michigan. Ben-Oni’s poems examine the layers and gaps of multicultural identity. Recently, her poem “Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark” was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. She writes weekly for The Kenyon Review blog, and teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension's Writers' Program.. 

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living

More Poems about Love

Browse poems about Love