Poetry: “Prospective Final Girl Sits at the Gas Station” by Nova Wang

Prospective Final Girl Sits at the Gas Station

and palms sunrise until it melts like hard candy,
             sugar lacing her wrist as Coke flattens in the can.
                      Here, highway racing before her, she is teaching herself

patience. Restraint. Practice: dig heels into gravel,
             sip without the swallow, slide the ozoned cut of summer’s
                      storm across the tongue without tasting its sweet.

Outside 7-Eleven she fallows her skin of want, crumples
             the can until her knuckles open like chapped mouths—
                      teeth sharp with neglect—declines each offer for a ride

because when bodies meet highway they make roadkill,
             smeared into skid mark, ribs split to the sky, rotting under blood-
                      spattered billboards advertising the next best horror

film. And if this was a film, she could press rewind
             as bone marrow peels itself from tar and dirt, each organ sliding
                      home. If this was a film, she’d be fighting for the role of final

girl: count down seconds in the corner of the screen
             as the killer nears, calculate how long it takes to prowl
                      a hallway, to slash a blade. She is fighting for the role of final

girl and she has studied all the tropes, knows to survive
             she has to be pure, clean, empty of everything but gasp
                      and gape, so she pours her Coke onto asphalt, refuses to die

in a space defined by destinations on either side. The sun
             splinters white against the sky and she kneels at each vending
                      machine, each rusted pump, watching its reflection as it fades.

About Nova Wang

Nova Wang is probably thinking about ghosts. Her writing appears in Gigantic Sequins, Fractured Lit, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, and she tweets @novawangwrites. You can find more of her work at novawang.weebly.com