It all makes sense now: the so many nights that end in weeping, one false eyelash half-unglued, mascara running, then caught with an old used Kleenex, the booze, the pills, the persistent rumor she’s had two ribs removed, her image in that Warhol polaroid exhibited in Krakow, ghost white with a deep red lip. She googles herself and reads the headlines: Messy Girl Musical In The Works! and The Messy Girl Is Done Marrying Gay Men. Finally, she can throw that violent tantrum at Heathrow Airport, collapse on set from nervous exhaustion, take to her bed the whole week every month, cramping and farting and calling for dinner in bed, the sheets crusty with old food and menstrual blood. Though first she must get ready for the show. She puts on addiction like a rhinestone bustier, suffering like a sheer black backless bodysuit. And her love affairs are an earring, an earring, and high high heels. What can the fanboys do but cheer, what can she do but strut onstage: too much hair, too much skin, too much woman for anyone to handle?
Jenn Koiter’s poems and essays have appeared in Smartish Pace, Bateau, Barrelhouse, Ruminate, and other journals. Jenn has taught at colleges and universities, worked for a cultural nonprofit and in corporate marketing, and volunteered to help end human trafficking in India and Nepal. She lives in Washington, DC with three gerbils named Sputnik, Cosmo, and Unit.