Last night I dreamed you told me my thighs were too thin. You like your girls thick, you’ve told me this before: thick hair and thick lips with beach ball-shaped behinds. My hips poked against the sides of your high school gym shorts, white calves shining against navy blue mesh. You gave me them that day, three years ago by the pool, your body gleaming wetly like polished brass in the sun.
When I first heard you speak Spanish, your words were like fingers, tapping up my spine to the backs of my ears. Watched how you cupped your hand around the mouthpiece of your phone, cradling the sentences you spun. “My mother doesn’t speak English too well,” you explained to me in sheepish tones. “Before we hang up, she says ‘I love you too much,’ but really, she means ‘so.’”
You really didn’t have to explain something like that, or tug the woven bracelet that hugs your thin brown wrist. So I just smiled and let the hair blow into my face, sticking to the corners of my chlorine-speckled mouth— and in that instant of pure unwarranted beauty, I swear you were attracted to me.
(I wrote this my freshman year, and it was published in a literary magazine at my school the same year)
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
There was a boy in the elevator.
He had a scruffy brown beard and scruffy brown hairs that curled down in nice ways. I liked his peeling leather lapels and the way his eyes looked when they looked at mine. There was something about his Adam’s apple too, the way it jutted out quietly like a weathered cliff, in that oddly attractive way that only certain boys have.
There was a girl in the elevator too.
I don’t remember much about her, other than the fact that she stood in front of him and a little to the left, with pale orange hair that reached halfway down her back, and she breathed along with us (us!) in the elevator. The rest of her features were blurred out to me, darkened and dull in the shadow of the boy.
And then the door slid open on some floor that wasn’t mine, and they got off, but not together, and I watched as she went left and he went right. I stayed inside, going up to someplace where he wouldn’t be, somewhere that didn’t matter very much at all. So I saw his shadow get swallowed by the private sunset of the humming hallway lights; such a shame, such a beautiful shape.
(I wrote this bit of prose for a school publication last year)
This movie, this scene.
The Ugly Harbinger
I love your smile in the harsh light
—the rotting raspberry swell of your lips.
I want to feel you,
Feel the blood and bones beneath your skin,
All warm and rough and flesh
—solid, like bark,
(I’m so glad you’re not a ghost)
I want to be your sweater—
Black leather jacket with the nicks on the back,
Blue water bottle,
So in short, I’m sorry that I stole your pen,
And used it to write this poem.
(I swear I didn’t mean to)
—Besides, it’s not worthy of my hand.
How To Be a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
1. Insist that you and your guy are not broken up, but merely “on break.”
2. Set his Facebook profile to your homepage.
4. Burn a heart with your initials into his lawn.
5. Steal a pair of his boxers and re-sew them into a fashionable bandana.
6. Memorize his schedule and wait outside his classrooms so you can “accidentally” bump into him.
7. Repeat Step 3.
8. Ask everyone to start referring to you with a hyphenated mix of his last name and yours.
9. Photoshop a composite of your faces blended together, print it out and tape it to his locker with the caption: “THIS IS OUR UNBORN TEENAGE CHILD.”
10. Make out with his best friend within twenty minutes after he “breaks up” with you to make him jealous. After he sees you with your tongue down the throat of his buddy, mistake his confusion and mild amusement for anger and sadness over your brilliant tactic, and then collapse into his arms, screaming, “This is what you make me do!”
11. Write him love poems folded into paper airplanes and then launch them into his bedroom window. Bonus points if you soak them first in your own perfume.
12. Repeat Step 3, every hour, on the hour.
13. Still refer to the two of you as “the two of us.”
14. Name your new puppy after him just so you can give him “kisses” and call him a “good boy.”
15. Bake him cookies with your tears in them.
16. Change his name in your phone to either “Love of My Life,” or “Super Jerk,” depending on your mood and current grip on reality.
17. Scream at him for cheating on you with his new girlfriend.
18. Repeat Step 3. For the over-achiever types, try shaking things up a bit and use a payphone so he can’t screen your calls!
19. Call his mom, “Mom.”
20. Finally concede that you are both broken up three months after the fact, and then tell everyone that you dumped him for being obsessive and clingy.