“Nice Girl” by Cindy Lynn Brown
Nice Girl has greasy fingers and trouble breathing. She digs a basement underneath the house. She will use it as rehearsal space. Nice Girl always rehearses before speaking, before brushing herself free from dandruff and before mixing the ingredients. Nice Girl keeps many tiny things in boxes and drawers: shiny stones, creased playing cards and salient disappointments. Her most visible treasure is the sign saying Guys’ n’ Dolls in retro font.
Nice Girl looks at her brother behind the counter. With the red tie. It can be difficult to get in contact with him. It suffices to look at him carefully and pervasively. He has lost his ring, white gold, glossy and warm from skin, it’s gone and the pale stripe on the finger it left won’t last long in August. Nice girl is chosen and so is her little brother. Chosen to heal the sick and the poor. Take their money and make them healthy and agile.
Nice Girl has a steamroller with grooves and soil and rubber. It pelts and crackles all her thoughts. Nice Girl has often been arrested for strolling on the freeway, for using the splinters from her ancient glass ceiling as a weapon or for eating too much chocolate at night. Dark dark chocolate.
Nice Girl works in an office. She edits and proofreads and hones until Nice Girl cannot contain any more corrections. She saves all of the handwritten letters in a dainty red suitcase, before she lights the fire. The rest is already saved in the Cloud.
Nice Girl doesn’t feel like walking away. It’s hard to leave little brother behind the counter. Despite the red tie it is hard to disappear from each other’s lives. Nice Girl feels nauseous. There is a sweet, oily scent at the counter and little brother avoids eye contact. She knows he is not coming along with her. Little brother serves a single cherry latte. She’ll have to drink it. Before taking off.
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Cindy Lynn Brown’s Artist Statement:Cindy Lynn Brown is a Danish poet, novelist and literary translator. She has published six collections of poetry and one novel. The novel is co-written with Anders Vægter Nielsen. She holds a degree in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern Denmark. She is translated into multiple languages and has performed at festivals throughout the world and stayed at various writers’ residencies. In 2013 she received a literary award from the Danish Agricultural-Cultural Foundation. She is the organizer of an international poetry festival in the city of Odense, in Denmark. Read more at