real.jpg

Real

by Christine Locker

I remember three a.m. on the fire escape.

I never went for girls like you, you know, with your perfect manicures and your perfect smiles. But you were different.

Your smile was real.

I drank myself sick that night and made you promise me that I wasn’t just some college girl phase — that I was real, that we were real — and you said that you loved me.

There I was, vomiting up tequila and lime, and you said you loved me.

When I finished, you took me out the window onto the grate of the fire escape, and you draped your sweater over me and held me while I cried for reasons you would never understand.

I remember cigarettes shared behind the library.

You kissed me between every drag until my knees shook and my heart beat so fast that I thought I might explode if I couldn’t get my hands on more than just your hips.

Your fingers were lost in my hair when you leaned in and whispered, “Tonight.”

I remember the cool cotton of your sheets.

Your pillows were under my head, your blankets over my toes, and I let you explore every piece of me.

Touching, tickling, tasting, and you looked so pleasantly surprised when your nervous fingers made me moan.

But there was something about the way that you hesitated, the way that you insisted that this time was all about me — like it was some selfless act to pleasure me while my hands stayed restless at my sides.

Like you weren’t afraid to let me feel the curves of your waist, to let yourself feel what I felt for you.

And after I came, quietly and breathlessly, there was something about the way you whispered that you loved me…

…that didn’t feel real at all.

I remember unanswered messages, endless waits at coffee shops, cigarettes smoked alone behind the library.

I drank myself sick again when you wouldn’t answer your phone anymore, and no one was there when I vomited up gin and tonic.

No one was there to hold me while I cried for reasons I wasn’t sure I understood.

I remember one a.m. on the fire escape.

A joint shared between us, and for the first time, you were infinitely more intoxicated than I was.

I made you promise to tell the truth, and you made me promise not to cry before you said you couldn’t do this anymore.

It was curiosity, you said. It was different, you said, a new life experience.

But I was never just curious. I was never something to be checked off someone’s bucket list. I was real, and you were a porcelain-pretty doll, playing at things you would never understand.

I remember why I never go for girls like you.


Christine Locker is a bisexual poet and author who has a passion for writing about the down and dirty side of life. Her first poetry anthology, variance: experimental poetry, can be found on Amazon Kindle, and much of her other writing lives on her website at https://littlefireflybigforest.com.