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JOHN WEST
SMILING GIRL IN A CHEMIST'S SHOP
Admit what lies behind it.
Behind the carefully crafted face.
The boundless hillocks of brain.
The exquisite scarlet plumbing of veins.
The white cathedral of her skull.
But even more than that,
admit the disappointments
the evenings spent alone, the boyfriend
who did his block this morning
and now wont talk all week. The uncle
who touched her in the bath, the mother
who gets drunk every night
and wont get off the phone,
the customers who snarl
the men who stare
(like the one who's writing this)
the getting dressed each dawn
the showering, the brushing of her hair,
the keeping going
the lasting out and lasting out and lasting out.