When I was a child, an image would disturb me for days.
At Ports o' Call in San Pedro, I turned too quickly
and glimpsed a wooden mannequin without a head.
A nightmare about Lyndon Johnson climbing in my second story window
with an axe in his hand kept me awake the rest of the night,
locked in the bathroom, reading a stack of Mad magazines.

I taped my Barbie in a shoebox.
I worried the stiletto-heeled doll would harm me as I slept.
Then when the garbage man took her away, I worried
she wouldn't have anything to wear in her shoebox.

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