This girl writes with glitter pens, draws little glitter hearts next to her name, adds XOXO. Doesn’t pick at her food and ask to be excused. Sings along to the radio, drums her fingers on the dashboard, catches her mother’s smile and blows her a kiss. Wears her sleeves pulled down to her fingertips, doesn’t look in the mirror when she undresses at night. Says “I don’t know what I was thinking” when her mother stares at her too long. Smiles at her teachers when tests are handed back, raises her hand when questions are asked. Draws little daggers in her notebook. Smiles smiles smiles. Thrashes at night, grinds her teeth, digs her nails into her stomach, her thighs, her upper arms, screams in her dreams. This girl dances when she’s opened. Spins until the lid is closed and she’s folded back into the beautiful dark.

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L Mari Harris’s most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in matchbook, Ponder Review, (mac)ro(mic), CRAFT, Flash Frog, among others. She works in the tech industry and lives in the Ozarks. Follow her on Twitter @LMariHarris and read more of her work at www.lmariharris.wordpress.com.