They tried to create something called a Republic. In the back seat of a white van with no windows, they passed a styrofoam cup and wore wool socks on their hands, as if they’d been raised in row houses not the cool myrtle subdivisions of white eye shadow and glossy overcoats, mothers who pelted mailboxes with gravel, peeling out after martinis with Joyce, Ruth, the other one with the frosted hair and the habit reserved for bathroom stalls and wedding receptions. They had to write their manifesto on a night they both remained clothed. They stole paper from her uncle’s butcher shop, running fingers along the Genoa ham like it was a thigh, caressing the filigreed mortadella, tagging murder on the sweaty refrigerator cases then charging into the night with salty hands and dry salami on their breath. She covered her sneakers with quotations and burned the ends of her hair accidentally, then called it intentional and ransacked her sweaters in search of something torn, pilling like her sister’s skin at seventeen, pasty behind dictionaries and other apocryphal texts that sucked girls away from the highway overpasses and tracks. Everything that happened underground was doctrine, or at least subject to several lines of pink highlighter and a flashlight beneath the chin, ghost stories over half- eaten sandwiches. He stood still while she sketched him in the nude, holding a can of gold spray paint, a crimson vest hanging from the back of his chair.