drag me for being fun and cute
High School Football Season
Night. Sounds: the hum of insects; sad pop tunes
playing on the stereo; BMWs racing each other
in oily darkness. I say ‘oily’ because if you lit a match
I swear all of it would burn. The sky, sticky residue
left on a pop can, Asian girls popping bubblegum
at the drive-in cinema. There’s nothing I can’t imagine
being on fire. A boy sits next to me. He’s grotesquely thin,
he’s got scars all over his body. His body is a prison
and angels are trying to slash their way out.
I’m sort of obsessed with him, this hideous boy with the scars.
"Sorry," he mumbles. "Sorry, some guys were chasing me
so I ran into the nearest neighborhood.” I want to say, too bad,
I’m no better. The instant you sat down I imagined
what it’d be like to set you on fire. You’d be the prettiest thing
on the dining room table: charred limbs in a cornucopia—
Friday night Eucharist.
I tear my lip up thinking about him. I want to take him in my arms
and hold him down in the bathtub because I think I love him,
because I think he loves me back, and I
can’t stand the thought of anything loving me—
because I’m a God who seeks no prayers,
and if I had a Bible it’d say: “Are you sure about this?”
September air is a corpse
bloated with pond water:
heavy. A football rips
across the sky like a missile
and falls into the nest
of that boy’s arms. It’s not summer
anymore but Lana Del Rey’s
radio-hit still blasts as we
bullet past suburban palaces.
The girls at our school
still dress for Coachella. It
feels like festival season feels
like beer cans clanging by a
bonfire feels like the only happy
people are the pretty people posing
for J.Crew’s fall collection. A football
rips across the sky and I don’t worship
it it rips through me.
"What have you learned about the one you love?"
Not much. Thinking of him is like driving down
a foggy boulevard: when I go too fast, there’s always a
deer in the headlights. He’s the subtle perfume of
death, a phantom—
scent of sweetness lingering.
Last boy this happened to, the power went out.
Lightning blasted a tree, toppled telephone poles;
the basement flooded. Nearly everything suffered,
even the Baptist Church. Only the McDonald’s stood unmoved.
That was in summer; that was
when I slammed a boy into concrete
and a tornado kicked back, avenging him.
This other boy is something else. He gets pulled from the
wreckage. I have nothing to do with it. It’s late October and
summer unsheathes itself and the sun washes everything
in light and makes it all hot. It’s golden, this morning
after the car crash. The boy I love is split open
and this Indian summer beatifies him.