"Alex." I say smiling a glass smile. But it shines like some eyes do. I lean into the grating, cocky, and brush my hair to the side of my face. Because I know, right now, you’re remembering me 4 years ago at Brian’s New Year’s Party, drunkenly announcing into your stomach, is face level when I sit and you stand, your floral patterned crop top, boxy—modern—square—like you are, built by hand like you aren’t. Your touch was fucking me up more than the screwdriver’s I was drinking, and your perfume more than your touch—but I wasn’t drinking screwdrivers because you walked me to the liquor store with you and bought me a 24oz Sierra Nevada I was too young to buy. That’s what I was drinking. Right now you’re remembering my pathetic, "You chose me?!" red faced into your stomach. Or how we used your Jewish friend’s bed…
But then I’m a man now and you want to fuck me like anyone else you’d want to fuck. And you can’t tell if I want you to because I’m standing up military, and my hands are in the pockets of my sun bleached jacket, the corduroy white at the elbows, buttoned to my neck, collar up.
"You never wrote me back. Why not?"
and you’re looking nervously straight up at me from the opposite side of the table. Wracked, you’ll tell me you didn’t have the time. I’ll lean into the table, across the table, over the center and ask you, never breaking eye contact:
"Do you think I’m crazy? Or a pervert? Or something…? Like you think I want something from you? Your money, maybe—here."
I’ll walk to your side, you staring into me still and suddenly lift you like we’re married, push the seat out with one foot, you in my arms, fill yr seat, and sit you on my lap. Brush some hair out of your mouth.
"I can love you like every man you’ve had never could."
I’d take your face in my hand, your jaw in my palm like a wineglass, and close my eyes and take your mouth. And you fill me up bittersweet. And I’d lift you back up, and pull the chair in with one foot, with you still in my arms, like we’re getting divorced, and drop you back into your seat like you were someone else’s woman anyways and walk off. Turn my head both ways before jogging across the street, curled locks bobbing, me smiling wide and your heart sinking, taking a loser’s walk, and each step a beat of your heart, while my pride makes a joke of the jokes you make me. And your dumb ass friends would start talking, laughing, and asking you ‘what the fuck that was,’ and for once you’d remember me the way I remember you most nights.
In his own words:
Atticus Davis is a poet and writer, author of the collection Dumb Stuttering Free. His work has been published in Whole Beast Rag, Keep This Bag Away From Children, and Hobart.