Tag: Zoe Rachel Miller

Door Girl


You could say Regina was a door 

girl who wasn’t supposed to enter

a house where people fucked, wept,

swung sermons, then collapsed on bony

backs to face a ceiling of sometime stars. 

Or you could say she was a lookout, an only

listener & oh yes, that’s what she did.

One side of her face pressed against

the screen door while Lazee played the 

organ like a church, as though flowers

bloomed around him & sometimes they did.

Purple orchids. White lilies beckoning like fingers. 


Evie was a house girl & she’d sit on the other side

of Regina’s door, singing stories through the organ’s wail, 

for once, she knew everyone: 

Frida, Tina, Leonora Carrington, 

Remedios Varo when she fed the moon,

the punks off Western, the friends who’d kicked

& the friends who hadn’t—who went back home,

or were found too late.

Angeline with her billboard breasts,

businessmen, & pink convertible.


In the afternoons,

when the orchids & lilies shrunk to bulbs

& the flies got tired

of buzzing wings on screen, 

Evie licked her gold tooth

for luck & asked: 

“Regina, are you feeling cold? Because, a girl must

want a roof, even if she sleeps inside the tiniest

Matryoshka—even if she carries a Ziploc bag purse.”


We’re not in L.A. anymore—but

inside your car it’s the same car

that sputtered across the 101 with 

out air-conditioning and a broken radio. 

Even the insects still want to live inside.

We are taking Lula to see 

Pirates of Penzance. 

You mutter the usual.

But I know you remember,

last summer—how we listened 

to mariachis on Olvera St. 

while Lula ate paletas.

She had to try every flavor, she explained,

& of course you let her, shaking your pockets

free of coins, curly head bouncing away,

before you told me you were moving back, 

to live with your sister—to kick. 

The Cape is hot this summer. We are sweating. 

Only yourwindow rolls down,

& I want to say:

When we were young, do you remember?

Our pirate ships? Our duels? Our songs?

I want to ask. But I don’t.

Inside the open ashtray, 

between us, the moth settles in.

Lula—in the backseat, tells us 

not to stop its fluttering.

It’s an angelo, she says. It will flap

back to god and tell on you. 

The first time I caught you in the bathroom,

your eyes were so red, I thought you’d already disappeared.

But it’s taking years. We are still here now with the trees 

flashing past us. You fade slow. A rose above a mirror.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN