So many pink plush pillows huddle atop my
canopy bed, me at 15 gazing at Grace Slick—
lithe & just ever-so-cool on her album cover.

Why can’t soup cans command my frizzled
locks to look like hers, coquette bangs upstaging
every one of her sexy bandmates. Down my street,

Jehovah Witness kindergarteners wait for me to feed
them slices of cold roast while their parents flee to
another church meeting but I’ve got ten more minutes

to blast “White Rabbit” from my powder-blue record
player that’s like a petite suitcase packed with psychedelic
lyrics. I know what surrealistic means now because

I’ve highlighted it on page 1367 of my desk dictionary
& that term also seems to apply to the Watchtower pamphlets
that their mother will send home with me this evening when

I will crumple them into my parka’s deep pocket, along
with two perfumed dollar bills, & mutter at her front
door on a snowy school night a plucky— Go Ask Alice.

Rikki Santer’s work has appeared in Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, RHINO, Grimm, and The Main Street Rag among others. Her honors include five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, was published this spring by NightBallet Press.