SHE SUCKS ON THE BONES

She only uses Burt’s Bees lip balm in public. In private, she uses the strawberry Chapstick they sell at gas stations next to the 99 cent lighters. The menthol in the Burt’s Bees leaves a tingle that reminds her to pout her lips; to make subtle use of her tongue to keep them moist. Occasionally she bites her bottom lip – because it is endearing.

Too often she looks at people as though she has a right to know them. She swallows them up; sucks on the bones. Slides her mind gently inside them, deep until she hits a wall. And then she sits there, curled up against the softest parts of them.

She prefers to wear her hair down, around her shoulders, the way it was when she was a kid. Were it not for that ass and hips, she’d still look like a 12-year-old tomboy.

 

She gets hit on by men her father’s age; men whose eyes simultaneously say “You remind me of my daughter” and “How much for a blow job?”

Most days she spends alone, walking—walking to bookshops she hates, to movie theaters she doesn’t attend, past homes she hates herself for admiring. She walks because she wants to be humble, and because she’s not.

 

"You would like Proust" They say, “You look like the t-shirt-and-jeans kind.”

 

The girl she's been trying to sleep with hands her a look that she can wear for the rest of the night and get in anywhere.

"You should smile more," they tell her.

Her answer is the same, "Please, don’t amuse yourself with things you don’t understand. What makes you think I am so wonderful? Just take me to bed."

And so they do. And though she moves rhythmically beneath them, they can feel that her eyelashes are wet and quietly aging

[©2020 by Ariel Maccarone]