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This is Not Date Night

Julia Dawn Elkins

We make our way back

from Arby’s his beef-

ruben loses

its taste after the third

bite and he moves

on to me

once the car stops, puts

his hand

on my thigh to feel the soft ridges

of tattoo scars,

he doesn’t ask, but

he is waiting

for the word

“no.”

The girl whose boyfriend

doesn’t mind my mouth

on hers, won’t text

me back and I am just

lonely enough

to fill myself

with the boy that doesn’t matter.

He tucks

his sandwich behind the seat

and kisses me.

It is wet;

his lips are the kind of soft

that I cannot

feel. We climb

into the backseat.

I do not question

why I bother

to move three textbooks

and six sweaters

to make room

for his skinny

body. When my mouth

touch the tip

of him he errupts

in seconds.

I pretend

not to taste

it, if I don’t notice

then I’m not done

being human,

being valid.

Street lights are already on

in the parking lot.

My car sits behind the brick

theatre building.

I don’t come here

enough to know

if anyone sticks around here.

He crams

himself into me,

half hard,

hoping to impress

me just

enough that I repeat

my mistake.

Afterwards I forget

about his sandwich

tucked under the sweaters

on the backseat floorboards

until the whole

car starts to smell like shame.

The garbage fills

with maggots

the day I throw his food away.

Spring, 2017 Issue