Casting Couch

by Joni Murphy

The sun shone with an alien
intensity. Looking to escape the girls
talk of taking a greyhound
to the coast. In the desert
one finds refuges to survive.
Theater offers as much protection as a hole
in the ground. A hole in the head
is as useful as the desire to be
an actress. A thousand Palomas,
Marissas, Lisas, Lauras, Lupes, Charlottes,
see art as a fucked-up means of illumination.
Something is nothing, then better.
Gateway and gateways and portals and bridges.
Open the curtain on beauty and destroy it.
In a social body lacking healthy rituals drugs
enter through the bloodstream.
They say no with the door open
then, when its closed, yes
on the couch on which countless
have made out as light
shown through the cinderblock
framed window. This is a story
of young girls becoming more
than young girls
rescuing themselves
from the horror house
of variation with repetition.

Joni Murphy is a writer from New Mexico who lives in New York. Her debut novel Double Teenage was published in 2016. It was named one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2016. Her next book, Talking Animals, will be published in 2020 by FSG Originals.

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