Remember us as those assholes sucking face outside the Christian Student Union, fist-deep in each other’s back pockets. Remember sidewalk-chalking magic circles at 4 AM and praying for spring rain, how when it fell we cried because we thought we’d conjured it. Remember LiveJournal poetry recycled from practice runs at romance and listening for the wet sound of my blinking and your Thundercats T-shirt reeking of Turkish Golds. It was only me who smoked back then, and in a crowd of our friends you pointed to my cigarette and said put it out on my arm, and who did I think I was, who did I want to be (someone who would do that, who would want you for wanting me to do that)? You took everyone’s silence for awe but you scared us all, even me who felt you get hard under your jeans while I blistered your skin. The blister scabbed and the scab scarred and the scar remained through every apartment we shared, through visits to hometowns and to cities we’ll never see again, through other people’s mouths on ours, through I don’t love you and I still love you and Christ it’s exhausting to love you. I forgot to look for it on the day I stopped knowing you, but it must’ve been there. It must be there now. I hope you lie about it to your wife, that you lied about it on your first date and have maintained the lie every year since. I hope you whisper the truth of it only to your infant daughter when she fingers its ragged circumference. I hope when you picture me there’s pink-white tissue glistening where my face ought to be.
Sutton Strother is a writer and teacher living in New York. Their writing has been featured in several publications including, most recently, Two Fingers, Janus Literary, and Cotton Xenomorph. Read more of their work at suttonstrother.wordpress.com, and catch them tweeting @suttonstrother.
- Flash Flood
- I Saved This Postcard to Send to My Grandma
Hattie Jean Hayes
- A Happy Ending
- Imagining My Father If, Instead of My Grandfather, He Had Been His Own Father
- What to Call Your Dead Parent So People with Living Parents Don’t Get Uncomfortable
- A Re-Telling of Cloverfield from Thirteen-Year-Old Me