Brooke is Broke

Working at Easy Pickin’, Brooke had it made.
She could steal skirts, blouses, shoes and purses,
Though her many hair extensions, she had to buy
Some place else. A girl has to diversify her aura
To keep the male gaze fresh. Evening, at the club,
She could pick and choose from all these beggars.
The next day, though, she might be too crap-faced
To drag her sweet ass to work, but it was worth it,
For we’re not here long, and love musn’t be dammed.

A firm, long-lasting man leaves a syrupy aftertaste,
Except most of them don’t last more than a blink.
Markus, though, did hang around long enough
To leave her Caleb and Leesha, plus an abortion.
Of course, Brooke got some on the side, as did he,
Then he was sent away for a half-assed mugging.
Out after two years, Markus was ancient history.
Plus, he could no longer achieve wood. Serious.
Something weird must have happened in the clink.

Whatever, life moves on, including another abortion
Caused by one or another of Brooke’s conquests.
The Indian doctor did say, though, “You might die
The next time. You already have four. I’m serious.”
A week after the doctor’s blah blah, Brooke was back
On Delaware Avenue, in front of a Pina Colada,
Looking as hot as ever. By comparison, Rihanna
Ain’t ish, not to mention that neon nightmare, Nicki.

That night, all was back to normal, then normal, too,
The next morning, as she called her boss to say
That she was too under the weather to show up,
Except that, this time, he snapped, “Don’t bother!”
“Are you serious?” But he had already hung up.

Suddenly broke, Brooke sold her food stamps,
Then her stolen bags, for next to nothing, really.
The last time I saw her, she already looked thinner,
And though she had always chewed gum before,
I noticed that her mouth wasn’t going nonstop.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.