mine:-w

At 17 I am told, for the first time, that I have large lips; then, that there is a deer’s skull in the front yard. It is July and sweat collects skin across my back, viciously, like a wolf with a mouth full of fur.

Tommy’s body stretches tall and lanky as Father’s fishing rod. His forehead is long, hair dirty and tangled as a stormy lake.

I am surprised and disappointed when he delivers these two bits of news to me and then does not kiss me, even though I have no pinpointed reason for me to feel either emotion.

That day the sky boils over with grey clouds, all dark as the dress of the old crippled woman down the street, the one everybody strongly believes is a witch.

Tommy does not kiss me, but he does offer me his hand, then suggests we look for more deer, ones that are alive.

Every July us children of the neighborhood wander the paved streets barefoot and bare-legged, our thighs and shins ridden with bloody scabs, from scratching too much at mosquito bites. This day is no different.

This summer I have tried not to scratch as much at my mosquito bites — I don’t want to call so much attention to my thighs, which won’t stop growing — but I have failed. Scabs line my legs like the thumbs of a strange man.

The forrest is significantly darker and only slightly cooler than the rest of the world. There are kernels of stretched out light everywhere, and moss, and only one deer — dead, though.

Tommy cries when he sees the carcass, and when he does it is the first time that I am okay with watching somebody cry. Or, I do not feel like I should leave.

I don’t do much when he cries, other than touch his shoulder, but this seems to be enough.

Kissing you:
Stepping over the threshold into my room after a long day:
sighing.
Peeling off tight pants.
The
first sip of tea after I’ve let it cool on the sill.
Two warm hands in the cold dark.
My neck :: your face
as the tears trace your collarbones.

Kissing you for the first time was 
awe;
like a sunrise.
Peach tea.
Warm bath with bubbles.
The first time you said I love you
and wouldn’t let me look away.

Kissing you for the last time was 
cacao. 
Teary smiles.
A clean break.
Promising ourselves that
it wasn’t real love anyway.
Breeze stinging my eyes.
Sea too salty.
A broken promise
I’ll never keep.

—  say goodbye before I fall in love with you by nc bradford

1.

The sky is splotchier, more of a human. 
We both have scuffed skin, violent knees.

2.

I wouldn’t mind it if you pretended
I had clearer eyes, longer torso, legs and stomach
thin and small as a meaningless fuck.

3.

These days I wear shirts with longer sleeves.
I want you to bite my arms,
I want to find a different reason to hate them.

4.

When you talk and don’t stop talking
I want ice cream or anything cold, anything
that will distract my teeth.  

5.

There were the boys with the bare stomachs. 
There were the ones with the buzzed heads,  
the ones with long hair. 
They all slept in the same part of my bed as you did.

6.

I go three nights in a row
with another body sleeping next to mine like a curse.
On the fourth night I curse myself
until my body is hollow again. 

Imagine me as the small bird’s carcass from down the street
that still nobody has discarded, the one that has been there
since the beginning of the summer. 

The Raven Cycle Gothic
  • everything is blue. you could have sworn it has been black yesterday but now not. everything has always been blue.
  • time does not pass. it never does.
  • you swear that forest wasn’t there yesterday. a bird starts to sing - no, to squawk. it’s a raven. the forest is silent. the bird is too. everyone sleeps.
  • the trees are not normal. the trees are watching you, their leaves have eyes. you do not look up. it’s impolite to stare. the trees do not care.
  • whenever you walk somewhere, a white mitsubishi passes you. it always passes you. you wonder if it even has a destination.
  • there’s a king sleeping underground. he calls your name. he doesn’t speak latin. you don’t understand him.
  • you go to church on sundays. I’ll pray for you, people tell you. you didn’t ask for prayers. there are two gods in this church now.
  • your dreams are all the same. they are all different, but still the same. you can’t see any difference anymore. the trees are calling you.
  • the trees speak latin. thank god your brother taught you. you hate your brother. they don’t speak to him. just you.
  • there are flowers everywhere. they are blue.
  • on the sidewalk you see three white mitsubishis. you go back and count them again in case your eyes have betrayed you. you see four white mitsubishis now. 
  • there’s a ghost living in the room beside you. you don’t care. all houses are haunted anyway.
  • at night, your town pulsates with magic. you know. you feel the night. you are not afraid.
  • you really want some yoghurt now.

IN THE AFTERMATH WE ARE LEFT WITH A GIRL
WHO CANNOT LIFT HER WINGS FROM THE FLOODWATER

NO ONE SAW HER APPEAR IN THE GAS STATION PARKING LOT 
FROM THE TRAILING EDGE OF THE VEIL OF THE HURRICANE
BUT WE BREATHE OUR PINK GREY BREATH FOR HER
FILL HER BLUSHING LUNGS

OUR BLESSED VIRGIN OF THE DROWNED OUR 7/11 ANGEL
EVERY TIME WE TRY TO PRAY TO GOD WE SAY HER NAME