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She Feels Like a Cliché

By , Exeter, NH
…walking through the woods at night, hand in hand with a boy she doesn’t know. The stars twinkle like the script would declare and he kisses her softly, the dull pink lips of a lover who doesn’t love.

“Don’t,” she says. Only she doesn’t because she is silent. It is too strenuous to speak. Words are running, running and she can never hold them close long enough to make sense. She wonders why that is always the problem.

The wind rushes through the spring trees and beneath her arms. They lift up in a rush. The branches of the trunk and the arms of her body sway in unison, curving to the weather, rattling against the sky. She watches the leaves depart from the tree and she wonders what it’d be like if parts of her would do the same. Skin peeling away and drifting off, locks of hair and clean fingernails swept up into the night. She would be bare. At this she can’t help but smile against the dull pink lips of a lover who doesn’t love.

“Don’t,” she doesn’t say again, and the boy obliges. He holds her closer, a desire to make their bodies meld. She knows that is foolish, impossible. At night, when she dreams, it is always of doorways that only come up to her knees. She does not know where the doorways lead. She used to contort her body in an effort to find out, limbs tucked behind limbs, an unnatural curve to her bones. But then she stopped.

The wind dies, her arms fall. Finally, the boy stops. He whispers the name he believes to be her’s and twirls a finger through her hair. He wraps the dark strand around and around his skin, but her hair slides off too easily and then he holds nothings, the whispered name halted in the still air. As she looks at him, she begins to forget what it felt like when he touched her only moments ago. She thinks she may’ve enjoyed it, but then again, maybe not. In the reflection of the night, she realizes with a laugh. She is the one with the dull pink lips.
A lover who doesn’t love.





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