“Oh, I believe in God,”
she said,
looking up from tying her shoes.
Our eyes locked.
“I absolutely hate the motherfucker.”

Something about the way she said it
made me shiver.
This was not the simple hyperbole
of teenagers.

Where did the rage in her eyes
come from,
and where could it possibly go
from there?

She would disappear for months.
I was always missing her
by a day or two,
hearing stories I still can’t comprehend
and have no interest

At first she was doing it
to get back at her boyfriend,
and then she seemed to do it
to get back at life,
and then she did it
to get back at whatever
caused life.
She didn’t want a lackey,
she wanted the source.

Who has that kind of hatred
at 16?
Where could she possibly go
from there?

One day we were walking nowhere
and talking about nothing.
It was the only thing we knew to do,
being insane living in Indiana.
She said she hadn’t slept in weeks
because whenever she was in a quiet room,
she heard a radio that didn’t exist.

I always used to ask myself
what a girl like that
A mill worker?
A therapist?
A junkie?

She answered that early,
and left no question.

She’s been dead
as long as she was alive,
and I still don’t understand.

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