i was sitting on a porch in late december, my voice in a jar of dead fireflies. when i was 14, i wanted to be the type of girl who kissed boys in carpeted basements (sweaty palms, the type of girl who let boys touch their shoulders, sweaty palms). i’m trying to write something honest. i don’t like the taste of cinnamon. i think cigarettes are disgusting. i asked him to teach me how to smoke because i thought it’d make him like me. my voice, cinnamon.
the street lights were flickering, casting orange on dying grass. when i was 14, the woodcutter pulled stones from my chest. i ate choke berries, fingers blue, lips blue, ophelia blue. i’m trying to write something honest.
my best friend thinks i write about my mother too much. i write about everyone too much. i dream about someone else’s war. i dream about sucker punches, rubbing alcohol, yellow bruises on tan skin. the double meaning of siren. jolly sailors with wooden teeth, nails for jaws, scarred knuckles, sea sick sons. the daughters wave from the bay, taste tar, bake too many loaves of bread.
road trip to florida. circa early childhood. we slept in our car, near a gas station. greasy chinese food for breakfast. a diner. or two. floral ground floor motel rooms. drained pools. ping pong with a ripped net, my mother smiled with teeth then. clementines from a stand on the side of the road. we left two twenties and took a crate with us. georgia said you’re never coming back. georgia has never looked so sweet.
the way you look should be a sin
my math teacher, leather seats, a ride home. dry bread and cheese. the highway like light. my mouth a runaway dog (trailer parks, drowning children, a puppy dog who couldn’t reach the well). the next day, i said “teach me?”. i’m learning the new faces of disappointment every day.
i’m trying to write something honest.