Kelsi Long

three mouths, in no particular order

 

one. he wrote haikus without the discipline or the nature. his hands always soft. thong peeking above the horizon of skinny jeans. lithe frame beneath a black t-shirt. i’m mostly cis and mostly het but mostly i just want a pair of kitten heels in my size.i search the internet for size 13s under the desk during class. his, the better blue eyes — brighter, bordering on sea-foam. we might have been the mashing together of lipsticked mouths, might have been blue and burgundy all over the pillowcase. we weren’t; just stolen hugs from behind, tangled fingers.  honey, your eyeliner is a disaster.

 

two. he smelled of wood, metal, clay. even after scrubbing, dust under his sharp fingernails. he was torn flannel, torn knees, premature balding, premature god complex. hazel eyes — my mother said they were cherubic. his lips peeled in the sun. i told him i loved his stubble, even though it made me shiver and not in the good way. whatever else happens, he will say he got here first. he will sayhe made me. lord, how he loved to make.

 

three. he liked the greeks. on his bedroom floor, a foam-board diorama of the parthenon. he had bad breath. soft blue t-shirt, soft blue eyes. once, he left a love-letter in my best friend katie’s rose bushes. he sent me an email. i was twelve. we used our tongues. katie didn’t kiss her boyfriends with her tongue: gross, gross, gross, she said, who wants to kiss anyway? i liked the kissing more than i liked the boy.on his bed after play practice, he lunged for the training bra. i get the trouble. if you’re going to fool around you should at least fix your hair afterward.

 


Kelsi Long is an MFA candidate in Writing & Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She serves as the associate poetry editor for Mud Season Review, the online literary magazine of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, she now lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

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