Rock Chick

She wears low leather flares with lace-up corset waist, a shark tooth-cut concert top knotted 
at the exposed belly, hook and loop heels, 
reddish eye, black lip, even though she’s been warned 
about similarly dressed male sit-and-wait predators – concealed big-haired opportunists—
who remain perfectly motionless 
until the right moment for active pursuit. She lives 
in costume and others can see her. Even a camouflaged body full of beating, pulsing organs 
takes up space; it is the price paid 
for being solid matter in an unforgiving universe. 
She has the excellent carriage, the long, lovely lines, of a dancer. She loves extreme styles, 
the muscular chaos of deep, dark 
moves, a turning whirling center, relinquishing 
her body to the gutter. The loud, loud whooping cries, aggressive mimicry all around, the thrill 
of mad attempts, of sound 
everywhere. Dense and thick with waves of it.
How hectic her heart --the force, the escalated pumping – pushing forward, slamming her 
so hard into the wall of death. 
However, there is advice to heed: when the lights 
dim and everything turns up, she should make the outer limits her home, ring the periphery, prevent the surprise of sudden attack, 
the ambush that’s surely coming. How vertical 
slit pupils actively attract and raspy pitch low, so low, she can’t hear the call. In tune, they 
know her next move: 
wait for decay, measure time before release, 
before sound seeps in, under, over, everywhere. They smell her fresh bloody smell. They hear the great big booming of her
heart. What should she do? The question insists, 
but also leaves room to wander through. She too has learned to create false biography: heavy metal body, heavy metal 
face. She is in it now. She can be seen, so she 
will be seen. The sensory march has begun. She has been marked, a hot piece; there are few choices left. Someone will 
likely strike when they decide the time is right. 
She wants to give in, dive in, collapse under the weight of all the alive and beating bodies. 
She is warm and still 
moving. Can she control time 
and the universe, slow her heart until it’s quiet. Keep it quiet.

About the author:

Naomi Bess Leimsider has published poems, flash fiction, and short stories in The Avenue Journal, Booth, Anti-Heroin Chic, Wild Roof Journal, Planisphere Quarterly, Little Somethings Press, Syncopation Literary Journal, On the Seawall, St. Katherine Review, Exquisite Pandemic, Orca, Hamilton Stone Review, Rogue Agent Journal, Coffin Bell Journal, Hole in the Head Review, Newtown Literary, Otis Nebula, Quarterly West, The Adirondack Review, Summerset Review, Blood Lotus Journal, Pindeldyboz, 13 Warriors, Slow Trains, Zone 3, Drunkenboat, and The Brooklyn Review. She has been a finalist for the Acacia Fiction Prize, the Saguaro Poetry Prize, and the Tiny Fork Chapbook Contest. In addition, she received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2022.

Photo by Zachary Smith on Unsplash

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