Ode to Alice, the girl who will always be falling
Pudding Magazine #58

oh alice, your hair is too
blonde, your dress too blue—
you sing like a Disney wind-up doll.
don’t you know that’s copyright infringement?

to 80s standards, you are deemed
unstable and not-up-to safety standards.
you’re dangerous, girl—
the way you hang from your toe, the way
children tap on your glass:
is she still there? is she still falling?

and when they filled in your abode,
we lost your body, am I the only one
who believes you can still be found?
they believe you shattered
from your pendulum, a likely story.

mother and I were watching the old Disney
VHS, this was the first time I noticed
the lack of black people, and I held my head
over the toilet, but couldn’t quite throw up.
not so much of a civil rights advocate,
were you alice. did you know the bathrooms
were segregated, or did you pretend you couldn’t see
from your hole?

it’s very hard to find pictures of you.
I only found this one, with you reaching
forward, the film cut off halfway through
your nose, a half of your face in black.

oh alice, if only we would find
your body in the deb

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The Schuylkill Valley Journal publishes poetry, short stories and critical essays. Both the SVJ and SVJ LIT come out twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
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