after the life & words of Rita Hayworth



                    but wake up with me
a rabbit with no hind legs, a girl
with no hood: a skull shaped like a war

head, or a waning moon, or a pistol.
you know, the kind we women carry
at our pretty little hips, you know, the gilded

kind, the kind you could own, 
                  like they owned me.
like they owned my false name,

my 		  Rita, 	my worth,
like they could carve new light in my powderkeg
skull, fostering a fatal wound

in me,	the fatal woman.	but buddy, 
have I got news for you: my skin is iridescent, warped
by lights two fictions deep. I am story. I am legs
	
& skull & pistol in between. I am
a father’s daughter. he clutches at my ankles
as they tap coins & teeth into existence.

		rehearse rehearse rehearse
he is my shadow &
                that was my girlhood, my careening

first life. my second life is green: radioactive.
it swoons, forgetful, in the weak light
of the 	Hollywood 	sign, our horizontal crucifix. 

you can watch us pray, but buddy, have I got news
for you: you cannot know me. I am story, action, gunshot,
						      unnamed.
Kate O'Donoghue

Kate O'Donoghue

Kate O’Donoghue is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where she now works as the Assistant Director of the Writing Center. She is the winner of Muhlenberg’s 2017 Poetry Prize, judged by Sarah Blake, and the winner of the Isabel Sparks President’s Award for Original Poetry at the 2017 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention. Kate is a 2017 Fellow of the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets. Her poetry has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, See Spot Run, The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, and elsewhere.
Kate O'Donoghue

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