1 by Vanessa Willoughby
i am an american cocktail
a repeat offender of generational suicidal tendencies.
the hips were a gift from my mother
the last name an ode to chains
shipped across the ocean.
i helped you string your skeletons
you liked to hear the clanging
to remember that you existed.
i smoked my way into a glimmering summer
sweating metallic fever
like an animal determined
to gnaw off its own leg.
clumsy tongue heavy and lips pillow soft
kissing with a teenager’s faith until we bruised
blue and yellow, cheating death with the green-eyed monster.
i was brown when you
feared the sharpness of modernity
i was black when you
wanted to play a criminal.
i was a trophy fuck
top-shelf big game
to bring home and splay across your blank walls.
hungering for you
with the pull of a teenager’s unpractical faith
while you sliced and diced
and performed oral surgery.
you and him and they
are the same pretty boy Judas
no matter the switch in mask
or the difference in
anxious fingers etching torture up your thigh
and sex with the lights on
for the first time.
VANESSA WILLOUGHBY is a graduate of Emerson College and The New School. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Nervous Breakdown, and Thought Catalog. She is the Prose Editor for Winter Tangerine Review and writes at www.my-strangefruit.tumblr.com. Tweet her @book_nerd212.