The car we decide to drive looks like a crooked body. When Leo and I stop at a gas station, we enter the bathroom, look into the full-length mirror. Even with him standing up, I can count all 24 of his ribs, all of them poked out and looking like nooses. I imagine witches dead and dangling off of each one of them.
He is that thin.
The way he looks reminds me of my father. Right before my father died, his face looked like cruel weather. My father in a hospital bed, my father in a coma.
Right after my father died I listened to “Wild Horses” on repeat. The lyrics seemed to fit well with the white of the hospital walls (I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie.)
When Leo and I get back into the car I put on “Wild Horses” again.
Leo was not there the day my father died. Leo did not come to the hospital once. Leo has hands large as Vatican City. There have been times in my dreams when Leo looks more like the Pope than he does himself. Leo’s skin is not nearly as wrinkled in real life.
In the car we eat cheese and peanut butter crackers, drink cartons of orange juice. I eat and drink until I feel sick. This is normal. In this heat, sticky and dry as the corners of my mouth are, it is all I can do not to make Leo stop the car so that I can stick my hands down my throat and *****. The vomiting is normal, too. I have only
just met Leo. It was me who suggested this trip, my body in his bed, me staring up at his ceiling, and it was me who was surprised when he agreed to take it with me.
shoutout 2 my irl friend leo for letting me use his name / character in poem bears no resemblance to him