~by danielle santangelo~
Its a late night here and when its a late night here you know you've seen earlier nights, nights to melt nights to finger nights to touch and rub in a circular motion and a circle and a circle and a circle and WOWEE ZOWEE and you sleep.
And there are the nights where you lay in the arms of one you once loved and he loved you and there is worship and sniffing and lifts in the air and when he presses against you your skins dissolve in a fine mixture of complimenting sweats, and the walls shake and the floorboards scream and the pictures fall from the bureau and all of Iowa City stands still in their drunk delight as he takes you into his arms with sparse hair and an essay of freckles and holds you so, tight.
And being with this person whom you once loved and loved you back simply because you shared the time, is the worst possible thing you could do.
When he tries to kiss you, with these lips that used to kiss so hard your own lips would swell, you have to turn your head and roll off the bed and out of his arms and point at the door. Your head is throbbing your nose is draining and all you want is that love to come back but it can't.
And you try to move on.
And there are the nights where you lay in the arms of a different one, one you were infatuated with so many years ago at an age when you didn't know a rub from a wipe. And you lay and legs don't melt together with this one and when you shift you say "sorry" and the disinterested flies on the wall buzz into the next room and eventually you are out of these arms and feel the stretch. You wonder, how ever did you find yourself in these arms, these weird skinny arms with thick hair and no freckles. No freckles. You wonder, maybe its better if they sleep on that side and you sleep on this side because you really don't like the way they hold you anyway. Maybe its better if tomorrow you say to these arms and those eyes and this face "Maybe we should try something different. Maybe you're not who I thought you were, when you infatuated me years ago when I didn't know a rub from a wipe."
And now on this late night you drink coffee. You drink chai caramel macciato and you hate you hate you HATE THESE ARMS. These ARMS that hold you in this WAY every night. You're used to kissing the freckles and sucking the elbow and flossing your teeth with the arm hair and these arms are so IGNORANT you wanna rip them off and stick em up his asshole until his cold awkward heart is pushed out of his mouth screaming, "GVE ME YOUR REDEMPTION OR GIVE ME YOUR PUSSY!."
All you want is that love to come back, come walking through the door like a do-over and it all feels right.
This puts your head in your arms and a puzzled look on the dear set of friendly ears sitting across the coffeehouse table.
This has happened to so many girls so many boys so many freckle-fetished children across our good black earth lets all join hands and raise our scruff chins to the sky to the light to the lord to the walrus and we will sway we will sway we will sway we will sway back and forth and back and forth and we will sway and sway and sing a ditty that goes a little somethin, a-like this:
And our hands will squeeze tighter and tighter and our fingernails will dig into the Cambodian woman's knuckles next to us and she will scream "Camden! Rachvorgia! Mooseketeer!" and we will break her fingers off, watch her fall, and dip them into our chai caramel macciatos.
And to our friend who sits across the table, not hungry not thirsty so nurses nothing while watching you dip these Cambodian lady fingers into your macciato and the leftover meatloaf core of your existence despises that bitch for nursing nothing with you as you wallow away your troubled troubles because she has more money than you and skinnier underarms and whiter teeth and you wonder, how she ever learned to say "no."
And she doesn't have a single worthy word for you.
"He said he loved me and I was brought to believe that that meant he loved me and it means touch and beauty and sex and happy," you speak with plegm in your throat.
"Showboat? Microsoft? Apple scruff?" your friend offers the consol.
"But he doesn't love me he never loved me he doesn't know what love means and if he did the walls would shake and the floorboards would scream and he'd lift me into his arms and our skins would sweat!"
"Census Bureau. Potato chips. Isabella Rosellini."
"No no no you don't understand you don't understand I don't love him and none of this is right I love the one that came before him, the one that's not right. When I'm with this one I feel like I should touch him all over like I loved him, touch him like I touched the one before! I don't know what to do, where do I go what's the right thing for me?"
"Nine auf zieg! Wakarimasen ohio! No hasta la amigo!"
And the Cambodian lady fingers sink to the bottom of your macciato that's left at the table as you push through the double-doors and into a town that's nothing but ghosts. Its a late night here another late night a colder one than last and the crowds move aside as they see your face and all of Iowa City stands still in their drunken delight for you, once again. You find a number and climb a stair and knock a door and greet a smile a new smile the one that's vaguely familiar from meeting it last week with a laugh and a choke. You sip wine under Neutral Milk (because what else would they be listening to?) and rattle the same same stories, look up over the glasses like this, smile to the left so your dimple glows and drone on about old Nickelodeon shows. You slip into bed and reach for his arms and notice they have no freckles. One arm lies loosely over your thirsty hip. You close your eyes, say "sorry" for shifting, and resume kissing freckles that aren't there.
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Performed by Danielle Santangelo.