Page 2 of 3
Good Little Boy
By Tomas Moniz
It's simpler than you might think convincing me to meet you in a dark corner, your saliva hot and salty in my mouth, public and rushed affections, and though I fawn and feign indifference, I am giddy to give it all to you, because I know now flirtation and desire do not equal possession; I am trying to let go, to not hold on despite my male history, in which good little boys like me were taught that conquest without spoils is hollow, veracity is always in evidence, so I learned to hone lines that picked up where you left off, if you smiled, I laughed, if you touched my arm, I nuzzled your neck, always pushing boundaries like some interpersonal manifest destiny that makes boys see others as competitors or conquests; and I believed clichés were signs of male prowess, gossiped whispers of "he was bad news from the start" like dirty words shared between lovers: badnewsbadnewsbadnews until the bravado felt hollow in my mouth, seemed cold like a trophy case, and what had I won, I wondered, so I surrendered, realizing clichés depend on simplicity and I am multiple, contradictions rough and jagged like desire, which brings me back to tonight, tonight I switch, bottoming my top, smiling at you, essaying body positions to tantalize, I watch you saunter over, you say, "Meet me in the hallway after you finish your beer" and I say "I'm a slow sipper" and you say "I'm not" and pick up my glass, chug chug chug it down, suds trailing out of your mouth and down your neck like an inverted V, and I am yours right then, that moment, to do with as you please, and I'll listen like the good little boy I was taught to be.
By Karina von Karolyi
We were at the butterfly park when you got arrested. I was suffering from a particularly bad case of the East Coast winter blues and couldn't think of a better place to be than a tropical secret garden, so I packed the car and a diaper bag and took C. to the park. I thought we had gotten away, but the snow kept falling outside, and while I was watching those rare, practically weightless creatures fly freely around their created environment without a care in the world, police were watching you, tearing apart your possessions, destroying the environment you had created for us.
I wanted them to take me instead. I wanted to sneak into that holding cell and bend the bars, steal you back the way they had stolen you from me.
"We have a life to live," I wanted to tell them.
"We need to raise this little girl together and get married and move to South America and . . ."
They didn't care.
When you got out of jail five years later, C. was almost a real person, forming her own thoughts and holding opinions on matters I didn't even understand. She looks just like you. Her eyes could tell your entire story in one glance, just like yours.
If you hadn't been taken from us, she would be ours and she would talk just like you. But you made your choices, before we ever met, and even though I love you enough to stay, to wait for you to get out of jail, and believe you when you tell me that you're out of the business now, I love her more. More than you, and more than myself.
Sometimes you fall in love and live happily ever after. Sometimes it turns out the man you fell in love with is a drug dealer or abusive or just plain apeshit nuts. Sometimes you know that a man is an abusive drug dealer, and you fall in love with him anyway. I knew he was bad news from the start. But he had his moments. Sometimes he did and said just the right thing. Sometimes he was the right person. But you can't live with sometimes. Sometimes doesn't keep you safe.