Jade Wallace

the ephemeral girls

We are the cheap girls, holding
corner store slushies, wearing 
second-hand miniskirts and 
last night’s eyeliner. We make
a raccoon-eyed reconnaissance of 
environmental apocalypse, take
a scavenger’s view of devastation. 
Nothing is precious. Even our
hearts are made of cinnamon and 
we trade them away for dimes.
Infatuation is a kind of survival. 
A new crush every week,
a new hair colour for every crush.
Greedy, slutty, psycho, skittish, 
indecisive, sociopathic, uncommitted—
we’ve heard all the adjectives
but they are not our names. 
We will take the world for a kiss if 
we can get it, but we do not ask for,
and we do not expect, the luxury
of time. We are the dayfly girls, 
our genders suspended in intervals
of incomplete maturation. We slip, 
thick and fast, between girl and 
boy and void. Never woman,
even when someone wants a wife.
We do not pine for diamonds,
do not try to make our flings 
into either heroes or men the way 
some of their exes did. We are the 
unmending femmes, forms unfixed as 
moving flame. We are the easy girls,  
the ephemeral girls—and we vanish 
just as quickly as we came.

Jade Wallace is currently pursuing an M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Their poetry, fiction, and essays have been published, or forthcoming, internationally, in journals including Studies in Social Justice, Room Magazine, and The Stockholm Review. Their most recent solo chapbook is Rituals of Parsing (Anstruther Press, 2018) and their most recent collaborative chapbook is Test Centre (ZED Press, 2019). They are an organizing member of Draft Reading series and one half of the collaborative writing partnership MA|DE. Find their website at jadewallace.ca.