by Stephanie Parent

Do you remember
when you were just a blinking ball of light?
Before you began to resemble 
a dead movie star
before you dangled
from young girls' ears, and on chains
beside their hearts
before a hotel heiress
named her chihuahua after you.
My friend Gina from the hospital
who was raped twice,
once by her father and once 
by strangers,
who made crystal meth and
anorexia her neverland — never
bleed, never grow breasts —
is getting a tattoo of you.
Someday, I might too.
Do you remember
when J.M. knew
you couldn't bring back brothers
who stayed thirteen forever
couldn't stop Peter's mother
from coughing
but he made you anyway?
How does that make you feel?
Do you remember
when girls read about you
and thought maybe they could find
just the right lost boy?
(older, they know they'll 
never find him, but that does not mean
that he does not exist)
I picture the lights 
shining out the windows
at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
and I see you.

Stephanie Parent lives in Hollywood, California, only a block from Marilyn Monroe's hand prints at Grauman's Chinese Theater, but she currently spends more time at home with her computer than mingling with celebrities. Luckily, she has her two adorable dogs, a chihuahua named Chin-Mae and a maltipoo named Sasha, to keep her company, and she'd choose them over a gaggle of Hollywood stars any day. Stephanie is a professional copy editor for companies including Dorchester Publishing, Cobblestone Press, and The Wild Rose Press, and her short fiction has been published in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and MARGIN: The Online Journal of Magical Realism. Her favourite fruit is the mango.

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