All the girls wanted him. All the girls with scabs for hearts and whiskey for livers. I wanted him.
The scar down his nose from the teeth of a girl and another down his cheek from a beer bottle in a fight. Dave. His name was Dave. It was in a bar that he picked me up. I had low self-esteem and thought he’d never want me. He leaned in and whispered I’ve been curious.
I understood and said get me out of here.
So we stumbled out of the bar with full glasses of beer hidden in our coats, full glasses of beer that were poured for strangers and left unattended for only a second. Full glasses spilling into our pockets. The snow was melting and leaving water puddles and slush. We could see our breath. Hot. Drunk on the absurdity of a future. He was in a band. He wore a gas mask and scuba shoes when he played. Torn tights like my tights his hands would rip. We walked and held hands. We paused outside factories on back docks under drips of icicles.
His girlfriend was gone. Somewhere away on heroin. He twirled girls in and out of his apartment and I liked the dance, dizzy and electric. Then he kissed me with a daydream of different. I thought if he touched me then I was good enough. Our feet sloshed through sludge and our shoes dampened and no longer protected us from the cold. We crossed Queens Ave and I tripped over an uneven road, fell, and pulled him down with me in the middle of the street. We stayed there with scars in our bellies, each other's tongues in our mouths, the glorious scent of youth and barley. Completely free in the center of a street, a street deserted and dark, lonely enough to hold the two of us while we did things we would forget in the morning, things we would do with others the next night.
Kat Moore has essays forthcoming/in Blunderbuss, Yemassee, Salt Hill, New South, Pithead Chapel, and others. Her poetry can be found in decomP, Maudlin House, Souvenir, and others. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with an old dog, a dilute tortie cat, and her boyfriend. A list of all her publications can be found here www.katmoorewriter.wordpress.com.