Damage Done

She dreams name tags.
White tights, and
blue harlequin glasses
like the bridge ladies,
but she’s your daughter.

She turns sideways, disappears
in department store windows.
She can’t even say her name.
Her stories become your stories,
you cut yourself, she bleeds.

27 cents you won on Tuesday
up the ante, copper to gold.
Let her learn to pass a mirror,
not want to smash her fist,
make a mosaic,
her shattered face.

Tobi Cogswell is a co-recipient of the first annual Lois and Marine Robert Warden Poetry Award from Bellowing Ark (2008). Her work can be read in SPOT Lit(erary) Mag(azine), Penumbra, Newport Review, Essence, Seven CirclePress, Forge Journal and Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review.