To Jessica, Part 1
It’s gotten late again and I’m in bed
waiting for the daylight to start creeping
in through the blinds because I promised myself
I wouldn’t get caught off guard by the sun anymore.
My apartment’s messy as fuck.
There are clothes on the bedroom floor,
styrofoam containers of leftover
chicken tikka masala and green glass beer bottles--
four, all empty, like I’ve been feeling.
But I’m doing okay.
I thought about Prague a lot today.
It’s Andy’s birthday and he took a shot
of something strong and clear,
then bit into a strawberry
and it was all sweetness again.
The days he and I wandered the streets
together blur at the edges, but I’ll always
remember the astronomical clock
in the old town square. Every hour,
the bells chime and a skeleton
comes to life to dance on top of it
to remind us we’re one hour
closer to our deaths.
Isn’t that wonderful?
We’re all going in the same direction.
To Jessica, Part 2
Last night, I went to a party
in a warehouse and a white
dude with dreads sang
while I downed Rolling Rocks
like water and cried
on the brick steps next door
because this boy doesn’t love me.
But I guess that’s fine.
I spend most days smoking bowls
and swallowing pills. I keep
waking up in stranger’s beds--
my body made of velvet
and begging to be touched.
And it works until it doesn’t.
I’ve got two sprained ankles,
sore ribs, and skinned knees:
I can’t seem to stay on my feet.
I wish I was someone who doesn’t
always need to hit the ground
before realizing they’ve fallen.
My therapist once told me
to stick my face in ice water
when my mind runs away from me.
Told me that the cold will shock me
out of my head and back into my body.
But, honestly, I think it’s nice
to not have to live inside of myself.
I get so tired of my skeleton.
To Jessica, Part 3
Last weekend, my friends and I
drank gin and danced in the living room
until 4 a.m. before we decided
to drive to Corpus Christi.
So we did. I sang along
to classic rock, drinking
shitty malt liquor
out of a can in the backseat.
And we stood, hours later,
facing the Gulf of Mexico,
laughing in the freezing cold.
And it was good. We were good.
Sometimes I fall back in love with the world.
Other times I’m reeling in nostalgia
for a place I’m not even sure exists, or
for a person I’m certain I never was.
Now becomes then
and then becomes better.
And maybe it was.
I just wish you were here.
Abby Cothran (she/her) is an Austin based writer from the Carolinas. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in journals such as Mookychick, Pink Plastic House, and Common Ground Review. She is currently an MFA candidate at Texas State University. You can find her on twitter and instagram @abbzsz.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.