Jasmine Ledesma

Garden Song

My aunt passes me the blunt. Wrapped in her cheetah print coat,

she insists on shivering. I’m twenty pounds underweight, she tells me.

Her hair is dry as wheat. The lipstick smeared onto her cheek

is the only charm she has. I inhale like a silly straw and ask, why?

I hate food, she says. Takes another drag. The world’s only anorexic mobster.

I haven’t slept since Saturday morning. We are in her backyard

as her dogs shit. There is an empty laundry line and a tire

that seems to change size every time I look at it. I’m in purgatory, I say.

I want to go swimming. You need to get a boyfriend, she says.

Then you’d stop being so fucking crazy. I laugh too much at that.

Cock hasn’t ever made me happy for a week, nonetheless saved me.

Tonight, I will try to overdose on the pills my uncle takes

takes for his depression and ugly dead liver. And tomorrow,

I’ll be involuntarily hospitalized. I don’t know this yet.

Will you take me to Florida? I ask as my vein turns into a tunnel.

I’ve got a dead cousin there. Buried beneath the flamingos.

At night, she tells them to get away.

You’re not even pretty.

Jasmine Ledesma lives in New York. Her work has appeared in places such as The Southampton Review and Maudlin House. She recently won the John Costello Award for creative nonfiction. Her debut chapbook, Racehorse, is being released by Dancing Girl Press this summer.

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