A young woman stood in my kitchen and said,
Kauai won’t be teaching me any lessons, she loves me.
She had been here two days,
dropped her purse in the middle of the living room,
drank too much, flipped her hair when she spoke.
I wanted to say, Kauai’s going to fuck you so hard now,
I wanted to warn her – Take the words back,
but I knew it was too late.
I asked if she wanted vanilla yoghurt.
Scrambled an egg.

After, she walked down the red dirt road
to the river
waded into the water – slipped on a rock
was knocked unconscious
and floated down the river, face down.
That’s not what happened. –
dying is too easy.
She slipped on a rock
and it mangled her middle finger.
It was forever crooked –
a forever fuck you.

There were also the car accidents,
being swept out into the wild sea taking a selfie.
Slipping off the narrow goat trail.
Lepto from the brown rivers,
a local girl beats you up
for looking at her boyfriend.
You know this isn’t all the same person,
but does it matter?
Never say Kauai loves me.
Never say she has nothing to teach me.
You’ll say it anyway and I’ll say a prayer for you,
Though I know the prayer won’t stop her,
though any god you believe in will look the other way.

-Laura Lentz