Miami’s Washington

One oblong birthmark peeking through the folds of pink bikini bottoms (buried by one step, resurrected by the next) that’s all I can see of the girl in front of me. Procession, shuffling nowhere-forward together, nostrils trading scents methodically: smoke, urine, smoke, booze, bum, bum—Green light. Some separate, more space, girl’s birthmark comes into view, brown Long Island ponytail too. Backside burned, “Didja blackout?” friend asks as they melt into the 30 ponytails in line for that Kardashian boutique (birthmark giggles as we pass, and it’s coy). Booze, smoke, salt, burnt asphalt, another glass-eyed bum calls out but we can’t because Fendi Karan Jacobs Klein. Coolers roll. Hair coiffed by the salt and the breeze and the beers, three half-clothed mothers stumble into us from a tattoo shop but Lee Ann Drugs boasts hookahs and thongs on porn-star mannequins so we lose them again. Club Madonna at our right so the men pull out tongues to lick air between peace fingers and I try to keep my nose from turning up, keep the bulk of my brows from tensing down and in (but it’s not my city) and it’s funny how easy it is to see needles in the cracks of the sidewalks and the lipo-dents on orange roller-blading thighs when I squint (and I’m not wearing sunglasses)—so I do.

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