my hands are stained brown & contrast well with the bright whiteness of my quilt: white & cool as her tennis shoes, as the tennis shoes of the girl whose name I know you think of when we lie in bed & you press your hand to my stomach as though it were some kind of important holy grail, but it’s not (my stomach isn’t small enough to be holy). I tell myself that the brown is blood, from a bad ****** nose, but I know better. my roommate knows better, too, so do my suitemates. they notice when the food goes missing & they notice when the tiles of the bathroom floor ***** up like the face of a vulnerable boy. I’m getting better, though, & I’m constantly telling them that. my hands are getting less marked, less *****, less covered in *****. I do it usually, claw my body usually, when I see pictures of her (or when you reject me or worse when you reject me for her), which is why I usually don’t let myself see pictures of her. there are days when I see her being all-beautiful out in a large field with hair long like a glass of fresh milk & teeth clean as a never-worn hospital gown. that’s when I’m on the bathroom floor wishing you’d call me or ] thinking about another boy (a boy like you: a boy I once told myself I liked or loved, but didn’t, just wanted him to love me). the boys come when my body turns lonely like a mosquito bite on the sole of a child’s foot. my body turns lonely & I see my eyes burning at the beach with my body all self-conscious in a blue one-piece bathing suit. I love to swim but I hate my body (something seems so ****** up about that). I wish I loved tennis. I see her tennis shoes in my head & I picture her body smoothly across the court. I see her body playing like a sailboat with her hands gripping the racket like a new set of clean teeth.
**** stream-of-consciousness (inspired slightly by lorde & also by dumb boys not even joking)