Whither (published)

 We stood frozen
under the full October moon.
Our only movement
was the inhale of a Marlboro cigarette.
He walked up and asked for a light.
He looked like James Dean, if James Dean was a tattoo
artist. His eyes looked black under the dim
porch light, he studied the people’s faces
around him. In my little red riding hood costume
his eyes focused in on me. My lungs
grasped for air and I had to catch
my breath. With my eyes fixed
on his face I watched the smoke slide
its way between his lips; chills replaced
chills, I quickly looked away. His right arm
a tattooed skeleton some symbolic meaning
or respected artist gracing his easel.
He reached out to shake my hand I responded
with hesitation. His hands were icy like late fall
by now they would be numb
to the palm. We turned to make our way inside
James Dean stayed behind.
Getting close, he whispered calmly in my ear
‘Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?

This poem was directly written from an experience I had in college during a get together I had with my friends during Halloween. Like many ladies around my age at the time, slutty costumes were all the rage. I chose Little Red Riding Hood mainly because the costume was the least revealing out of the costumes at the time and plus, I always did enjoy her tale. Little did I know I was going to meet a random stranger that night who would seep into my brain and never quite make his way out. While my friends and I were outside smoking cigarettes a mysterious stranger walked up to the stair case and asked for a light. He was a tattoo artist from Reno visiting his brother in Ellensburg and was looking for a party and he happened upon us.

I wrote this poem as an exercise in college but I later submitted it to my University’s literary journal, Manastash, and enough of my peers enjoyed and voted upon it that it would make its way to being published. I am no longer in touch with this Wolf, but I am very glad he entered my life when he did.


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