nails and teeth

the fighter chewed her ponytail 
ragged and spit cement playgrounds
—she preferred glue sniffers

eager scars on her knuckles and
hitchhikes in transport trucks;
no one tried to paint her 
as anything but 
until they said she fought for her life, 
as though that could make it noble 
not just 
nails and teeth

the coroner’s report:
        skeleton (1)
        pounds of meat (several) 
        pounds of gravel (1)
        toxins (none present) and finally 
        asphyxiation 
squeezed her neatly into her box and
her mother finally wept, the matter now
closed

© Corey Stewart