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(CC) Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial, 2005. Candice Hall.

Something for the Boys

by Heather Bell

1. i sure as hell wasn’t east of eden, more like west of grant boulevard in a city that should be burned down. He was test-driving my new car, i was thinking how people are kind of “exit only,” and i’m always the stupid kid jiggling the handle outside for hours.

2. i don’t know if people wear hearts on sleeves anymore. it seems a stupid idea anyway. when you’re drunk and fucking you’re most likely naked too.

3. in the parking lot of walgreen’s an orange cat hit his car’s hood and i jumped, frightened. he was smiling a little when he said he didn’t love me anymore but let’s be friends! let’s get our prescriptions together! let’s be the regularly scheduled program! and still drink pepsi and go to church! in the parking lot of walgreen’s i kept thinking about that cat. like, what if it was homeless. and needed me.

4. i collect magnets on my refrigerator and coffee mugs from displaced little towns. so far i have one mug. and two magnets. i also collect love letters. i have almost the same amount of letters as the amount of blowjobs i have given and handjobs i have given and times i have worked like a drug mule for the united states government. which is not very much.

5. he told me he wanted proof of this love thing i was always talking about. i said here’s your proof you asshole and i flicked him off. some people will just never get it.

6. i just want to love someone like a jew about to be led away to crucifixion.

7. mama tells me its like archeology. at the top is mostly used condoms and old beer bottles. don’t mistake dirt for beauty. unless you want dirt, she says. some people want that, she says. some people do.

8. my most recent finding sleeps in my bed like a roman arch. he told me he might want to live by elephant head road. i think that sounds fine to me. i wonder if you hear them at night, the thunder of their mating so clumsy and outrageous. he says maybe maybe doll baby and trips over our suitcases, laughing.

9. i start collecting postage stamps for all the places we will go. a couple years ago i was dating this guy who had a box in his room labeled “human remains,” but when i opened it there was nothing inside. i’m so glad i no longer know that guy. postage stamps seem much easier to keep track of.

10. i wake up suddenly at four am just to make sure the man i love is still breathing. he finds me in the closet hours later ripping up the love letters, laughing, calling them communist propaganda, mosquito nets, pornographic material. i say look at these, these chain letters. don’t you hate chain letters? so do i. so do i. no one ever replies unless they are really desperate or really in love.

From Heather Bell’s Poetry Collection: “How to Make People Love You.”