Sharpies and Sunflowers This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

1.
Simple

We spent the entire afternoon in your room today, tattooing our arms and legs with sharpies. Black dragons and quotes spiraling up our legs and around muscles we never bothered to learn because who needs them anyways? This moment is no time for anatomy.

There’s this faded bruise of a poem on the back of my knee. I’m not sure you remember but you wrote it there last week and wouldn’t let me read it.

And we’re lying on your floor with these waxy paper cups of wine next to us because there’s nothing like the intoxication of sharpie and red wine and your room, mingling together and spreading through the air like a haze, so thick you can practically draw in it. I’m doing that right now. Drawing in the haze.

But I won’t let you see what it says because I can be secretive too.

2.
Harmonic

What is it that makes us so protective of one another? I think it’s plainly human nature. You think it’s selfish, an act to keep yourself happy with the other’s existence.

I tell you about the time I was driving with my mother and we saw a dead bird in the road. A live bird was next to it, hopping around as if to protect the body from the cars. The bird kept nudging the body, determined to make it move and breath and escape the rushing world our car and other’s cars were creating.

And you’re silent for a second and then you tell me that you would do the same, if only because of your own selfish need. I don’t respond because I can accept being needed that way.

It’s no secret that you’re not the kindest person or the most tactful, but you’re one of the most complex. You’re the one with the smoldering temper and the quick smile, the flashing acid words and the chamomile apologies.

You won’t acknowledge human instinct but you’ll act upon it. You look at the world quietly and recognize the faults but don’t condemn them, all the while condemning your own. You look to others to improve yourself but hate to think that you might be the basis of correction for anyone else.

You and I are blanketed by each other’s human need for satisfaction with ourselves. It settles on us, a warm shroud that breaks the abnormal frigidness of the world. And it’s almost a self indulgence, this instinct. A clinging need for the person who corrects us the most.

3.
Motion
Arms under necks, legs crossed awkwardly. I’m trying not to hit my head on your bed legs when I move to talk to you.

But it’s silent now, and we’re just sitting here drinking in what we don’t even understand, because all of our emotions have somehow combined into that alcohol and bitter haze and they’re now swirled together, so tightly it’s impossible to discern anything.

Reaching up to drag my fingers through the mist, it leaves my hand multicolored. Your fan is spinning and it makes me dizzy.

I had this dream the other night, you say, and break the silence. Your sudden voice zigzags through the haze and makes a lightning strike. I don’t reach up to touch that because I don’t need anymore of your electricity.

Anyways, you say, we were in this field of sunflowers and they were all like, crazy neon colors. And we’re just running through them and this cabin comes up and this guy goes hey are you people needing a place to stay because I have room here and it looks all sketchy but we say yes and go inside and there’s an entire room of paint and we spent the rest of the dream throwing it at each other.

I smile. Is that so. I whisper because I’m speaking on the exhale.

Yeah, you say. We ended up looking like the sunflowers.

And so I look back at my multicolored hand and the fan keeps spinning above us and we just sink back into silence.





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