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 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.