son, i would rather be an artist

The streets were black and wet like crushed velvet. I couldn’t sleep, so I went to the dance hall.

All the girls have single lines on bare legs, dividing the bone. Their teeth are so white and always out. I was held in a necklace of twisting and complicated knots for years and like a finger trap the more you pull away, the more you are pulled back. I left the screen out of my window to make the whole thing easier; it was taking too long to get the damn thing out quietly. No one noticed anyways; who even looks anymore?

I held onto the shirtsleeves at the wrist. Round and round like the water in a washing machine, bubbled with soapy remnants of booze and powder from the bathroom sink. My eyes in the light were big and red, full of the stuff of love if you squint at it. Big and red like the lights, everything glowing and smiling down on me, on us, on all of it. Punch drunk. Drunk drunk. Heart so big it’s gonna burst right of you, darling. Drop like a stone while you dance around it.

Lots of brass and bells. The long dark windows are lined with ferns; it’s a real hothouse in here. My shirt clings and my hair’s fallen out of order, but you don’t seem to mind and I certainly don’t. I didn’t come here to care.

Don’t worry. My pockets are good enough for your hands. My coat is big enough to walk home in. Don’t worry: I’ll be tired in the morning, but I’ll be thinking of you. The water you gave me, the way we were together there under the valentine lights. Those girls, their teeth always out, always so white. Always in the way that nothing ever changes, tomorrow never comes.

Don’t worry, tonight I’ll be dancing with him. Round and round. Always.