baby is going to die tonight

She has that failure to exercise judgment in that small look in her eyes, the slow way her mouth is closing when she stares at the boy she is no longer in love with. The boy has a first and last boring name, she begins to realize when he starts being mean to her. The boy has cut his hair and no longer writes songs for her or for anyone else not even his dead friends. Mostly he talks about how music has changed his life. He makes plain faces and refuses to squeeze back when she clenches for his body or his small hands. His small hands pick the guitar and he hums something while he asks her for something she ignores. He perhaps wants to go somewhere, or to drive somewhere for a few hours. They are most likely going to have sex again tonight, if not in the back on the leather seats of her car, if not spontaneously somewhere in public like when they first met and he touches her between willow trees in the park, then it will be at his house on his couch when his mother falls asleep after watching late night television. The television makes a blue glow in his house like a fish bowl. They have fun in his basement where his drums are. She daydreams because of how large the basement is. There is crème colored crown molding and perfect shadows. Her body and nerves are together tuned to the sound of the audience, usually cheering and laughing, muffled and vibrating through the ceiling in synced usually around the moment when he starts to unbutton her buttons and unzips her fly. He always kisses her neck first before foreplay then he stops all of his imagination. His hands remain small and needy. He never discovers the soft oblivion that happens when someone finds and kisses or nibbles behind her ear.

God knows she feels secular and inconsolable if God knows. The hours transform towards midnight while she lies on his lap watching the clock and the seconds. She does this thing when she pretends not to be cold when she is sincerely freezing her limbs off. She asks him to please close the window and he makes a joke about something. She laughs like a darling and then watches the tree sway outside the open window.

The boy is more like a pink dream. He asks her what is a pink dream and she says, like, a pink dream is when you like someone and you play with it, but you know it may take years to happen or will never happen.

So we’re friends then, he says.

Evie bites his shoulder and says, yes, we’re friends.

by Richard Chiem

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