outside city hall we
rolled a basketball back
and forth between our weathered heels

i pretended, walking on the
curb, to be a model

we pretended that no one
had accidentally pierced anyone’s
foot with a needle last night

you pretended to not
see me fidget, let the ball drag it
self to the gutter

you said i really could be a model
if my eyes were more blue
and less grey, if i had
eleven more inches


it was christmas. all the walls came down at my torn toenails, the way his heels still sometimes do. it wasn’t an accident or anything; i chipped at them until they would not stand.

when i got the phone number of my first “love” this weekend, from his mother (that classic boy-next-door, the one our mothers dreamt i would end up with), it all became so clear. if i just called him, i could walk a small town party with him, in my high-heeled shoes (he’s an AUTO-mechanic, say it with me), linking arms and catching up on the fifteen years we lost. i’m sure i could. but i saw everything beyond that fallen concrete when he kissed me, though i forget the kiss. i remember that there were two mouths and flaring nostrils that i could see straight into. i remember that i touched his skin, protruding, an uncanny and disturbing scar. i remember that there were teeth because they bit me. i remember that there was a boy there doing this with me, but i forget his face the way i forgot his number and was reminded (incorrectly – he’s always been a kidder).

there is no chance for me. in the same way that there is no remembering. there are only small town memories, churches and backyards. addresses in covers of trade paperbacks. places to linger. places to look back at and remember the man i have loved from the very first day, a man who never wrote me a farewell card. a man who had not been a man, who had still been the boy next door.

until that boy next door gets married, i don’t stand a chance. even if he disappears without a trace i will always stay this way, making all the same mistakes, choosing all the wrong numbers to remember. somewhere in me i’m sure that it’s on purpose.

because i’d rather drift alone forever never knowing, than know that he was just one call away.


i’m this close to starting a “lists” category on my blog. for this list, or “new boy resolutions”, or in your wildest jesslyn dreams. this list came to thirty. i may need to lower my standards.

1. he’ll adore me and i’ll adore him, but sometimes we’ll probably have sex with other people.
2. he’ll have a car.
3. he’ll have a dope job. not to be confused with a job selling dope. not that i’ll care what he’ll do for a living. anyway.
4. he’ll have a loft condo.
5. he’ll only ask me over on weeknights.
6. he’ll be so into sports he won’t even know i’m there.
7. he’ll only watch movies that i want to watch, when i’m around.
8. he’ll force-feed me fruits & vegetables. especially when i complain about it.
9. he’ll call me for girlfriend stuff, but also for sex. except he’ll text me because i don’t like phone calls.
10. he’ll still do all the non-boyfriend stuff in bed.
11. he’ll drive me to work in the morning and stop at starbucks on the way.
12. he’ll wear ties & smoke cigarettes.
13. he’ll never take me shopping, ever, ever.
14. he’ll wine & dine me, but only at home.
15. he’ll listen to all my girl whining & we’ll both pretend he’s really listening.
16. he’ll be tall, but only to me.
17. he’ll like my pet fish and not mind that i have mild fits of insanity because he’ll get that it’s not his problem.
18. he’ll be quiet.
19. he’ll ignore my texts.
20. he’ll eventually not ignore me, but there will be the unspoken promise that he will again.
21. he’ll leave me alone when i want to be left alone.
22. he’ll call someone else if i can’t cater to him tonight.
23. he’ll have the most comfortable clean blankets that will always smell like laundry. except he won’t, because he’ll be kind of gross.
24. he’ll have a sweet collection of badass shoes.
25. he’ll be totally badass. totally.
26. he’ll get drunk in bed with me and listen to music.
27. he’ll only see me in black lingerie & we’ll pretend it’s the only underwear i own.
28. he’ll be apolitical or at least not care.
29. he’ll have fantastic. fucking. hair.
30. he’ll be completely in control & so will i.

it’ll be fucking awesome.
i’m pretty sure it’s called true love.


you’re a handsome devil/
what’s your name?

almost eight years ago i started writing a diary that, this past february and march, when i was the stupidest i’ve ever been, i typed up & cut-and-pasted into a notebook so that i’d always have it, and i met a guy this past summer and for some reason, probably because it was the middle of the night and i was in the midst of this period in my life where i believed in an organic connection between all living things, or whatever, i let him read it (cover to cover) and judge me based on my past and pretend like he knew anything about me and i watched him try to convince me that my slight neurotic quirks are deep psychological problems when they are not, just because i used to be a little different, just because he was still hung up, and was a psych major, and later the man who fixed the holes in the office walls told me that english majors and psych majors do not belong together and i wondered where this handyman had been all summer, but aside from that i keep the diary beside my bed in case i ever need to remember that i am still the same and wonderful, i am too good for this, i dance alone and am special and i linger in doorways and get away with practically murder and i blog-post from my phone while i smoke cigarettes and i don’t give a fuck about anything.

but i don’t need reminders anymore, because the moon lit my entire bedroom on its own, and for the first time in too long i feel something unselfish.