We met in the back seat of his best friend’s car,
wintertime, the windows were fogged, he said
he’d let me breathe
then held his breath.
He said fuck a few times too many, in that thick
Jersey accent, in his faded blue jeans, and I said
I hated that word,
too many people say fuck instead of saying what
they really mean; said what he last said was an example.
He said fuck,
you’re right, then asked about my poetry. Tell me
what you write about were the exact words he said, and
let me tell you, when he first said my name, with
a cigarette lit half dangling between his lips, my blood
then throbbed through
my veins. Something about the way paint stained his skin,
his fingers nubby and rough, I almost believed he was tough–
how far off.
That night, after he asked and in asking wanted everything, I said
nothing. The muffler hummed, a yellow light blinked
ahead. The windows unfogged, I uncrossed my arms, searched
for the moon between trees. I said, Distances, spring, my mother,
all the little things.
Abriana Jette is a poet and educator from Brooklyn, New York. She earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University, and an M.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature from Hofstra University. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in The American Literary Review, Page Seventeen, and The Manila Envelope. She currently teaches at the College of Staten Island and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.