Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Day 12

the first time i saw her
she stormed out of history class
purse clenched tight, makeup streaking
her sweatpants rolled down above her ass
and no one stared except me
midyear the smell of ash invaded the air
when i was reading through cinderallaman
she was the one whispering
“she’s not wearing a bra”
laughing while i spluttered
because she wanted to get
under my skin
she reeled me
sliding down the old green couch
letting me lean on her knees
playing with my short hair
petting me
when she offered a marlboro
i said no and she grinned, catlike
when i tried one it hit me
like a cement truck
and she laughed while I cussed
letting the tears stream
early one saturday morning
i picked her up at the gas station
she was shivering in the frost
those downy bangs falling across her forehead
the hunch of her spine childlike
but without innocence
her pale skin and rough eyes
seemed out of place to the country home
the one at the end of the lane
with the stitched throw pillows
and mom baking in the kitchen
i once thought
her cigarette lips were beautiful
like waves flowing off hot asphalt
maybe i wanted to save her
but she never wanted saving
i thought i saw myself in her
Alex Payne is an old soul Californian living in Utah. A city-slicker since birth, she also enjoys dancing in the rain, pine forests, sleeping, and running. Alex is boyish, stubborn, and a bit of a trouble maker. Her motto is that “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.”

Categories: Poetry

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