La


Her neck bore a sign,
made from a red shoelace
and an old piece of cardboard
from the beggar who once used her corner.

On it, scrawled in two colors of Sharpie,
were the words she'd thought of
when she had too much wine and not enough liqueur:

CAUTION:
Dead inside.
Do not enter.

Her lips were painted red
and her eyes lined in black
with a single bruise following her cheekbone
down to a split in her lip.

And she would follow the eyes
of whoever watched her
for long enough.

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