Poetry: God is Dead

**This is a creative writing piece by Cecilia Ruvinsky. A piece of poetry titled "God is Dead."**

It’s December in New York,

and she’s wearing a puffy black coat that barely keeps out the cold,

jumping over slushy puddles of sewage and sleet.

The air smells like fish,

and her ponytail gives her a headache,

but she didn’t wash it that morning, so it has to stay,

long and straggly, overdue for a trim.

Her sister chatters about where to eat for lunch,

and although she doesn’t say anything,

she imagines biting into a fat dill pickle at Artie’s Delicatessen,

and her mouth waters at the thought of the vinegar oozing between her teeth.

She opens her mouth to offer her opinion on where they should go,

but before she can get a word out, her mother grabs her and her sister’s sleeves,

and yanks them to the opposite end of the street.

Her sister almost snaps in rage at being treated so roughly for seemingly no reason,

and she does too,

except their mother grips their hands and moves faster, and then mutters under her breath,

“Look back quickly, there’s a man behind us where we were before,

and he was staring at you two.”

She and her sister do as they’re told, and she sees him,

wearing a corduroy jacket with a filthy collar,

leering underneath the greasy hairs of his mustache.

He eyes her up and down,

going from the exposed white skin of her neck

to the legging-clad thighs that her dad calls chicken legs.

Blushing,

She turns back to her mother and pulls her coat tighter around her chest.

Although she hates scarves, all of a sudden she finds herself wishing She had worn one.

Later, in the fluorescent bathroom of Artie’s Delicatessen,

she stares at her reflection in the mirror,

those twelve years of life obvious in her face not yet marred from acne,

in those baby hairs that wisp around her forehead,

and in the long-sleeved shirt loaned to her by her sister,

the gray one with the unicorns galloping across –

and she realizes that for all the ways she tries to be older,

she still looks so heart-numbingly young.