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.”