Looking at Young Girls


December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Nicolas Poynter


The lights are shrouded by fog that collects near water this time of year, and they, the lights, lead me along the river, the river that cuts us all in half. My coat is dusty, and I hardly ever shave out here on the road. Sun surprises me, kills the fog in one blow, arriving all at once like an atomic bomb and throws my shadow farther than I can see it, makes me look like some kind of monster. People stay wide of me, flinch when I get too close, but not her, suddenly there like magic, like the sun this morning or the snap of fingers next to my ear. She’s out running, blowing smoke out of her mouth like a train. She’s half of me and goes right by me, our coats brushing against one another. She don’t move one inch for me, her fists clenched, long hair in chaos without those rubber band things most girls use and a mouth set hard like concrete, ready to give me hell if I make one wrong move. I’m scared of her a little bit. It looks like she’s trying to kill something out here, by herself, in the bitter cold of morning.

This girl must be Mexican, this girl in a fist fight with some ATM machine up where the levy climbs into downtown. She keeps putting that card in and it keeps saying no. Her car idles in the shade of trees and her little girls stare out at her like they all live in a submarine. Her face twists like she’s never gonna win.

Sun feels good on ice cold skin. Some skinny girl climbs out of a hole and stands there with her eyes closed. This girl’s got a small jacket around her with a tiger on it. She needs a big coat like mine, and a wool hat and to be inside at night. This girl needs a lot of things. She don’t see me though. She’s standing in that sunshine like it saved her life, came out just in time. Takes me a long while to pass her, her like a statue, but her pink fingers shivering like she’s being electrocuted. Her face is like stone, and with a stain of misery that runs down the middle of it like an earthquake scar.


Nicolas Poynter is a high-school dropout that became a chemist and now teaches AP physics in Oklahoma. He is also pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Oklahoma City University. His work has recently appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of North American Review.

One thought on “Looking at Young Girls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
Cheers to 10 great years!

🍋 Instagram

Fiction Editor JR Walsh luxuriates in micros shaken and most definitely stirred. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/notes-on-the-micro-fiction-selections/ #amreading #microfiction
Grab a two foot scrap of wood and step up to home plate with Ronald Hartley in "Batting Stones." https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/batting-stones/ Hartley's stories have been published by Sky Island Journal, Literary Juice, After the Pause, Gravel Magazine and Mobius: The Journal for Social Change. #amreading #flashfiction
We're reading for our Winter Issue, but a deadline is coming soon. Please consider submitting your best poetry, flash, and micros before December 1. Our editors will continue reading creative nonfiction through the new year, but we'd love to see your excellent work even sooner. https://citronreview.com/submission/ #TheCitronReview #onlinejournal #briefliterature #celebratingtheshortform #cheersto10years #Citron10 #callforsubmissions #poetry #cnf #fiction
Marissa Hoffman's creative nonfiction covers the directions that a life may take in "A Route Plan From Dad to Dad." https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/a-route-plan-from-dad-to-dad/ #amreading #flashcnf Marissa Hoffman has published FlashBack Fiction, Bending Genres, and The Drabble. She is a fiction reader for Atticus Review.
Managing Editor Eric Steineger illuminates ten years of Citron Poetry. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/notes-on-the-poetry-selections-12/
When raising children is like "Fighting with God," Jennifer Woodworth dives into each poetic moment. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/fighting-with-god/ Jennifer Woodworth is the author of the chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head (Monkey Puzzle Press.) Her writing has appeared in Bending Genres Journal, The Eastern Iowa Review, Star 82 Review, among others. Her blog is fishclamor.com. #amreading #poetry

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: