Polk Street Cinderella

A Polk Street Cinderella sits waiting
For a cab that will never come
Holding a borrowed black umbrella
A suitcase
And a stolen gun

A picture of a boy reading "to all tomorrow's parties"
Between finger and thumb
A crackerjack ring, a toy car of tin
And a promise of things
That won't ever be done.

Rags and linens, petticoats and vests
Imaginary invite clutched to her chest
Held together with brown paper and gum
Bound with strips of old shoe leather
What is done, is done.

Cars drive by, sun goes down
A party is not a party for some

Outside the drug store she watches the rent boys
Trade amphetamines and booze
It ain't much of a life when you ain't
Got nothing but still you lose and lose
And keep on losing
Bleeding hemorrhaging 
Dignity, pissing on the sapling tree
And staring at the sun.

She ain't on a losing streak
She's been to eight parties this week
She's hot property, a west coast fantasy
Fingerless gloves on both her feet
Day old pizza - someone else 
Picked off the meat.
A dress she stole an original fake
But at least she's winning something
Even if she is on the take.

Rags and linens, petticoats and vests
Home by midnight
Fairy Godmother knows best.

It's all a sad drag
Reality seeps in, black and white steeped in
Lets her know
It's time for another
Bag.

The Polk Street Cinderella packs up 
And moves down to the Civic Square 
A little more desperation in her beauty
A little more faded, a little less there.

She turns a trick, stealing a john from 
A boy who's always sick
Clicks her broken heels, chooses
A trip, not a meal
And flies. 
She flies away to

Rags and linens, petticoats and lace,
The shadow of Vermeer in her face
Shudders and passes through.

She has another party to go to
What's a girl to do?

They found Cinderella 'neath the stairs
To the cellar
Of some Castro bar
In one hand an invite,
The other stained with tar
No one seemed to know her name
No one mourned her
No one claimed her
Rags and linens
Petticoats and lace
The street sweeper muttered
Underneath his breath
Crossing himself
And trashing what was left
He threw a blackened rose
Into the back of the coroners
Truck, wheezing
When the street is through
With you it's through.

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