The steel in your spine is hard, your hands are cold. He’s a kid. Just a fucking kid, you chant, over and over. But it still hurts. Slut, the S-sound snaking its away across the room, slurping peach schnapps and blue curacaos until it finds its way to you, you in the peek-a-boo see-through top with your favorite magenta bra underneath, you with the discount heels, citrus wraparound sash that snugs into your ankle. He grins and no one looks. In the morning the liquor swish-spitting your system will convince you that you can change memories as easily as CDs – first Placido Domingo, then Jose Alfredo Jimenez. You drive the I-94 through gray haze and coughing cars, wipers singing softly, Amaneci otra vez entre tus brazos. Your eyeliner runs.
A hot shower laps your skin clean. Maybe you are a slut. Maybe you’re some other age’s lost Aphrodite, a fingernail gap between her front teeth, lisping gently, painfully oblivious to the nasal huffs and gentle eye rolls of her devotees. Maybe you are, you think, and the mirror fogs up.
So this is what you do. You find the shortest skirt in your closet, snap on the indigo rhinestone bra and step into three inch heels. Dim the lights and shut the blinds. There is no grand entrance – no cue, no thunderous drum roll for a goddess tiptoeing a line she never even drew. Slut.
The bass muffles your body. Your hips are pulled by an invisible cord – a knot in your navel, senseless loops and frayed ends running down your legs. Your arms are all elbows, hard points on hexagonal shapes, fractured light bending. You move, you move – snake beast, coyote yip. Keep moving. He has wrapped it up – your shoulder blades, your wanting, your ass, your tongue wrapped into pretty little packages that were never his to give away.
Hare rattle, starling’s screech. Don’t dissolve for him. Don’t shrug on over-sized and bulky sweaters, don’t you become nameless. Somewhere, silver fish still swim upstream and belly flop beneath the moon. Somewhere, you are still alive.