space monkey by téa nicolae

*poem published in flash journal

 

urban dictionary:

every time i feel ugly

i pull my hair out of my roots and play space monkey with the boy that lives two streets down from me

we meet in his room at 11pm, usually on tuesdays.

we order taco bell and choke each other with greasy fingers.

i find solace in his grasp

the harsher he gets, the more beautiful i am.

necks clenched, we stare in silence

and i remember the nights i spent on bathroom floors

drunk, thinking of the people that broke me.

 

i’d tell my boy about my bathroom nights,

but we never speak.

we just clutch our throats and collapse into each other

cat scars on our arms

lapsing back into old habits.

 

we spend four nights a month and forty-eight a year

gazing at our draining cheeks

and drowning into each other

i know each one of his pimples,

his chapped puckered lips,

his clumsily shaved sideburns

and the straight slope of his nose,

while he knows the mole in my left eyebrow,

he sees the cracks in my oil-based foundation

when his fingers close around my neck,

he understands me,

just like children understand the world with their hands.

 

when we fall into each other,

breathless

fragments of dream buzzes burning our heads,

the lack of oxygen strips our minds bare

and i am beautiful again.

 

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