I hope you burn when you touch me.
I keep hearing that your body is entirely new every seven years. Imagine that, a new body. Would it come with a new mind?
I will be 19, and my skin will not remember you or the scratch of your black cotton sheets. I will be 20, 21, 22 and my body will not know to flinch. I hope you do not recognize me. This skin will not be the skin you claimed, the skin you marked. I will not be the same. If you spot me in a crowd, drawn to my angel eyes, no longer black and blue, if you walk towards me, I hope my hair turns back into flames. I hope you brush against me and scar yourself. I hope it takes you seven years to get rid of the marks I leave on you. I hope it takes longer.
I will always go for the throat. Ask me where I learned that. I will wink and lick the blood off my fingers, sharpen my fangs in the mirror. I hope my claws reach the bone. I want to carve my name into it. There are tally marks cut into my neck, half-moon-nail shapes. You always made fun of me for my quick-bitten nails. I will grow them out to sink into you like I always dreamed.
I dream of you. I wake up with a collapsed chest, hands on my hips, ghost grips on my neck. Pull me under. Drown me. I wake up and roll over, shaking, heaving. I check my face. I fantasize about your collarbone cracking in half. I fantasize about layers of makeup or clothing or anything to cover discoloration. I sit in lust over the crack of my knuckles on your face. We had matching X-rays. Our only pictures together. How fucking sweet.
You used to trace wings on my back, avoiding the small of my back; when I flinched you pressed soft kisses to my shoulder blades. Angel wings for my angel eyes. I was a pertrol princess, you burned with napalm touches. Nothing calms these burns, they exist long after you. We were lonely. We burned, we burned on the outside. Words and actions and razors. We burned inside our skin our whole lives. We cut it open and we swore on ourselves that nothing would happen again. We swore on each other, as if the promise of forever would make it better. This is where the trouble starts. (Forever always scared me). I wrote a suicide note and you signed it. I burned it. I don’t know whose name was on it.
Forever makes me sick. Take down all the clocks.
A new body didn’t guarantee a new mind.
I still flinch when I see you. I wake up and I beg and I don’t know what I’m begging for. I don’t know what I did, if I did anything. The words pour out of my mouth and bounce off the walls of my bedroom. No one is going to hear them. I’m crying for help much too late. There was a hand then a fist, a crack on a collarbone, bone hitting bone and drum/heartbeats. I shattered my knuckles and your control. They snuck me ice packs to hold against my trophy hand. I was so proud.
I wake up with bruises shaped like your hands. My boxing coach gave me a black eye. I bruised his ribs. I don’t have to be scared anymore.
There’s a bruise on my hip from sprawling. It’s ugly and I can’t see fingers.
I don’t have to be scared anymore.
(I am tough now and I hope I melt your skin right off when you touch me.
I hope my breath turns to fire in your presence.)
I miss you, baby. Come back for more, I dare you.
Olivia is a high school junior with a lot of hope for the future. Her dream is to move to a small yellow cottage by the beach and spend her life tending gardens and writing. Her reality though, is a lot of AP classes and wrestling. She is very content with all the sunshine in her life.