Previously published in with confetti and Trick Mirror or Your Computer Screen (fifth wheel press, 2022)

One. You customize electronic rooms in shades. Her raspberry lips pink and soft from a Smackers gloss that she trades for a stick of your milkpail pink bubblegum; your  
hands touch, pink and smooth palms sweating pure sugar and  
warmth, skin sweetened by each other until noon glazes and reeks with rotting peaches in the windowsill. 

Two. She talks to you in her sleep. 
“Get out of the water,” as she pushes the blue sheets toward you in static splashes, the box fan dripping cold and clammy. You play mermaids in summer blowup pools and she lets out  a piercing cry as a summoning until you are surrounded by acidblue chlorine, possessing the bodies of water you spit out and drink and spit out and drink until it burns, a current passing through your skin and you know you’ll drown if it means something to her as her hands push you away. 

Three. In the following years, pillbug concrete fills her room. Leftover plushies you won for her at the famed school fair turn to stone or taxidermy. She kills those, squeezing their throats until they explode with cotton and pink thread and teenage tears, and after it’s done she clings to her carnage, saying, “I love you, I love  
you, I love you”, but their plush bodies are scattered on her bed. She sutures soft sinew by sinew, frankensteining them together just to hide it in her closet until she leaves for college and consciously decides to forget your name and you drive past after your last breakup, the bulldozed room repurposed as a graveyard shaded with reclaimed green and skies knotting to night.

tommy blake (He/they)
tommy blake is a pop culture enthusiast in poetry and loves arthouse horror films. they have work published in or forthcoming with eggplant tears, fifth wheel press, warning linesCorporeal, and Spoonie Press. read his poetry chapbooks: Trick Mirror or Your Computer Screen, Peanut [the cat] auditions as Courage, BAD POEMS, swerve, MIXTAPES, AFTER, and lacuna. their full-length collection is debuting with Bullshit Lit in 2023.