Cinderella Strung Out • Mimmo Iasiello

I saw her today in the diner--
mascara smeared, eyes
like two dark rings on a coffee table;
one sleeve torn and dangling,
a useless tongue.
No one was with her. She
stumbled for the counter,
one sandal snapping,
the other foot bare
and limping over the linoleum.
An overdose of electricity
jolted through each exhausted limb.
She sipped coffee
with both hands wrapped
tightly around the dirty mug,
nose in close,
steam rising, rouging her cheeks.

She closed her eyes
as its medicinal heat took hold.
When she opened them
she stroked her arms
where the needle tracks mapped out
a dark constellation--
each separate prick
a moment of weakness
where promises fell
like water droplets
through trembling hands.


Mimmo is from Arlington, Virginia.