They called her “Ibyang Muñeca,”
“China Doll from the Midway"
and like a thousand other monikers
she’d answer to
drunk with friends that she adopted,
made a family out of strangers--
knew her core but like two of them knew her name.
Tough lover and a Turf Club regular,
slammed every door decisively--
some function of her nature--
and danced out loud to car alarms,
bathed in sweat or rain
twisted fluently, twisted fluency
when gawkers gawked--
“out-of-town-tourist-trash,” she’s sing.
Loved it when people asked her
“where you from?”
told them “like a million different places,
depending on the day--
wouldn’t recommend Wyoming
but you knew that already.”
Flew her independent nation flag
without it being stupid bangs,
esoteric ink, piercings, or pulled together poetry--
told me I was dumb to look for meaning in her laugh lines.