Is it possible to unmeet? To miss each other by a second, to not fall into a unified step, your filthy black boots beside mine on a bush-lined street, summer berries falling and rotting at our feet, breath smoke in the crisp autumn cold? Is it possible to become strangers, again?
You weren’t impressive, that wasn’t it—it was that you were from a northeastern town I’d never heard of, but you were still familiar. It was that you were Connecticut-kind, a fruit-pickin’ sort of friendly, dashing to open doors or sneaking me sips of bottled booze, both boring and bad in the good ways.
Is it possible to become strangers, again?
Nice guy was a lie you spoke with small, clicking teeth that you shared with multitudes of lovers, stained with black coffee and cigarettes, then bleached white with peroxide. How I ached to be your favorite, to lick the sweet from your cavities. But your mouth kissed with precision, not passion. Slim pink line over small jaw, how it smirked, then slept in a satiated bow after our bodies tethered, two ropes, flesh burned.
Good at tying knots, you told me, my wrists and ankles bound, at fixing things. Your drunken tongue tangled the words like cherry stems. I still savored them, believed them. I peeled back their thin skins. I ate the fruit of each one. I made a red mess of our mouths, choking down the twisted tartness but still starving for more.
Nice guy was a lie you spoke with small, clicking teeth
You learned to use your hands young, you said. On things. On women. You learned to use your hands to repair what was broken, to touch fingertips to hidden lips, to build fires that I learned you put out with a swift coldness, a New England night freeze, your speech icy, that mouth full of an alcoholic’s breath, ash and spice and antiseptic. Good at tying knots, you told me. Your words, first a line, now a noose.
You were a boy from Derby. You were just a boy from a town no one cares about.
Lexi Senior is a roaming writer with an MFA in creative nonfiction from University of Central Florida. Her work has also appeared in Cheap Pop and Gravel. Find her writing impulsive poetry on Twitter at @discoeternal.