Ladies' Night by Colin Dodds

Girls with thin lips
complain into their cigarettes.

But even they
can’t violate their own beauty.

They aren’t happy
but suspect they could be.

They are punching bags
for the men’s charm.

One of them recites the names
of every person she knows.

At the end of each session, the girls
hang there, on strings of cigarette smoke.


Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poems have appeared in dozens of publications, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.