Bethany Baker (she/her) is a writer who loves cats and coffee. Her greatest accomplishment is being sober for four years and counting.
TAKE ON ME
The song comes on and your hair turns black, your jawline, a squiggle, and we’re trapped inside a maze. Take on my debt. Take on my detangler. Take on all this rudderless clutter. We dance in the middle of your bedroom. You knock on the doorframe. I wink. Take on these lies. Take on who dies. Take on the cries. Somewhere a keyboard’s on fire, my hair’s caught in a scrunchy, and an eraser chases from behind. Take off. All hope is lost. Take off those pencil shavings dangling like dander from your ears.
TELL THE TRUTH
You won’t tell me why, but I know why. You’re in a parade, center stage on that float with your parents waving, smiling. I don’t know how many hours it took for them to make this lovely cloud, but you can’t come down now. You can’t tell them the truth. You will never caress a woman. You’ll never love me like that. I wish you could be crowned and loved for what you are, but instead we roleplay. At the holidays, I’m your girl. After, you’re back with him. My heart’s in the oven waiting to cool down, but no one’s ever turned it off. No one cared to tell me why.