Not Really Sorry
Susan Terris

Not Really Sorry

Angel face with a careless fringe of dark hair.
Ivory skin, clean unpolished nails, false eyelashes.

Between thumb and index finger, she holds
a spliff, inhaling and inhaling, as she sees the rosin

box, smells sweat flung from a spinning head,
hears the shush of a shed tutu, the clop of pink-

ribboned shoes flung across a wooden floor.
But today, neither her head nor her warped toes

feel pain. She cannot, will not, shall never,
she reminds herself, tending the ash, inhaling yet

again, as she vows to seek out debauched putti, like
ones on old Italian fountains, only full-fleshed

and alive. Her spliff, you see, is sending a smoke
signal inked on its side and disappearing:

SORRY MOM . . . .

Susan Terris

is the author, most recently, of Take Two: Film Studies (Omnidawn), Memos (Omnidawn), and Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems (Marsh Hawk Press). Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Denver Quarterly, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Pushcart Prize XXXI, and Best American Poetry 2015. She was editor of Spillway Magazine and is a poetry editor of Pedestal Magazine.