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i approach the tall blonde in the bar // she says, “you’re so beautiful i’m scared to touch you,” because that is a thing people say, somehow, to me, in real life // i say, “don’t be” // but before this

she came over to study for finals // we ordered mexican food // i kept debating whether or not to tweet // about it and show my ex that i hadn’t gone back to // guys // i’m in the bar now because it’s my roommate’s birthday // and my ex wrote on her wall to say happy birthday // she won’t say happy birthday to me, next week

when i go to her apartment // she takes off her shirt // i see her boobs // i think of my ex’s boobs // she says she’s had a crush on me since she saw me for the first time // she says, “you’re the most beautiful girl i’ve ever seen” // i laugh and tell her she’s prettier // she seems legitimately embarrassed // we kiss

i watch her smoke on the balcony // we talk about our exes // they are friends // she says maybe they will date // she says LA is a soulless pit // she is so much of a human and i want to kiss the stray hair on her lip

in my bed // i play the cd she made me // we are naked and i’m not afraid of her // i think of my ex, naked in front of me // i think of how we had to drink for me to top // i ask her to be soft, and she does

she stresses because i can’t come // i tell her please not to stress // i can’t // not again // be broken // for someone else // i say, “just fuck me” because i want to be fucked, not guilted // she says, “say it nicely” // i say, “please,” and she says // “just for the please” // after, she says i have an amazing ass // have i heard that often // i think of my ex and her crawling on top of me, curling white arms around my brown ass saying god bless america // after, i say i want a cake // she says she has cake but no measuring cups // i say she can make it here and let me eat it all // she says okay she’ll eat the butter and die of salmonella // we laugh like this is normal // we laugh like we’re okay with dying of salmonella // maybe we are


Rachel Charlene Lewis is a co-founder of The Fem, the editor of Vagabond City, and an MFA dropout. She's got essay/poems in The Normal School, The Offing, BOAAT, and elsewhere. Her thoughts are in Paper Darts, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Publishers Weekly, and will soon be in Electric Lit. She's into cacti and her kitten.

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