Anna Keeler



Dichen was a demi-girl; I don’t regret her like I do the rest. We almost had sex and woke the baby up, and her lips were soft and shiny against mine. She was not wholly present, even with a sweet, moccasin tongue, but then again, neither was I, my hands punctuating each freckle on her arm






with a caress. She had a boyfriend and a child but harnessed her inner lesbian long enough to pleasure me. I don’t regret her. Contriteness isn’t felt for intangible concepts.



Locryn sent tridents to stab the fish lovers because he was allergic to anything that wasn’t solid turf. He walked so softly as not to offend the sidewalk cracks because he held so much reverence for concrete because before anything else, he was an alder, gum, teak, bole, lime with an inexorable wanderlust for his once severed roots. I was his means of rekindling the bonds


separating him from heterosexuality. He didn’t grasp the concept of fluidity and misplaced his temper in the shore, his internalized hatred a metaphor for high or low tides, depending on his mood. He didn’t know how to do it right, as would anyone who hadn’t learned to tread on water tops. He did – however – fall in love with Eden, and the inland terrains it encompassed. Pushing me into a bush, his tears hissed down my cheek; this, as it stood, was his idea of





Amari is, was, and will always be the personification of virology. She doesn’t know what that means because her dimwitted mind is so infectious it doesn’t matter than her fingers rip brain cells from my vocabulary.


I swore I would never sex up a blonde again but her body transmitted to mine before I had to chance to tell her no. Not that I would, because, because…even waddling and dilapidated, I would crawl to her on all fours and stretch my mouth until it ripped across the floor just to grind a tooth


into her beauty mark. Balancing my lungs between arsenic and ice, I suck up a penicillin allergy and take her in deep. Underneath that exterior, I tell myself, beats the capsid of a natural





Ellis is the nicest guy I’ve ever met.


Sometimes I forget he’s a man.


It’s been too long since a man that many years my senior has been anywhere near the ends of my hair, cuffing each strand like a baker claw around the fire. He notices each one is a different color and doesn’t admonish the results of your age, finding a new layer for every shade of peacock, merlot, stripper’s green…


There is nothing not innocent about this, as the fifteen years keeping you apart seems irrelevant as a real, twenty-four-year-old adult. He isn’t old enough to be my father because I never had one.


Time was, I never had Ellis either.



Noor is single. Lather, rinse, repeat. I have devoted too much time to thinking about what she’d look like in my lesbian love den, under the cover of retail lace, and the conundrum of the sheets revealing the ebb of her inner freak.


Noor is single and has been for a while because she’s borderline asexual, but somehow, that doesn’t matter. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t but she’s affectionate, and that could be enough,


but it’s not because Noor isn’t interested. We’ve bonded over the antipathy of “you two should get together,” even if we haven’t shared a space in years. Even if she wanted it, she is intimate with the alone.






Stare down the dead horse ‘till it’s beat.



The knowledge that you shouldn’t don’t mean shit when it comes to Vienna because her name elicits a grow from the deepest inferno of my lungs. She was different, and I wish that she wasn’t, because it hurts to carve something so wonderful out of my mind


only to throw it in the trash, to mold with the milk, beans, and day old bread. She was like the cupcakes, bodies full, thick, and plump, but I had already eaten. In retrospect, she couldn’t spoil me more than the others already had, but the glass door temptation twisted me in and back out of its orbit.


I wanted to dig my fingers into the soft skin of her stomach and nestle my head into her lower back dimples; I wanted her so painfully it tore my misanthropic muscles from their cocoons under my skin.


She was different. I was so sure. Come to think of it, she was just like the others: a painful brink I let fullness talk me out of. Me and Vienna never had sex, even though we were unattached.


Periwinkle cream on my hands, I let her bleed out on this notion:


I regret her most of all.


Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer kicking it for Christ in the greater Orlando area. Her work has been published or is upcoming with, Deep South Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, After the Pause, The Indian Review, Pegasus Magazine, and more.

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