Ghost of a Toledo Girl

At 16 I couldn’t get Kurt Cobain’s name
tattooed across my chest so I stitched
patches of my favorite bands onto a sweater
and wore it like armor to protect my heart.

Mom’s shotgun only made the myth
more real, death a fairy tale about escape.
In a city made of mirrors I saw
nothing but infinite misery.

From the other side I cannot weep
for my mother or myself, but I can sing
loud enough to shatter glass, hoping
she will hear me and forgive.

I search for what cannot live or die,
like music, or emotion—me at my last
concert with a broken, bloody nose,
smiling without a care.