First Date

What’s funny is this could be anyplace else
in the world, this could be any time,
really, but it isn’t, it isn’t anywhere else
except for right here, and that’s just her luck,
isn’t it. Three almost four years of waiting
for him to ask her out and when he finally does
it’s a warm autumn day and the coffee shop is
too crowded so they sit outside, and that’s when it happens.

Is it bad that the first thing she thinks when it does happen
is Great, now my skirt is ruined? Probably not,
because it is, he was drinking a strawberry Italian soda

I never drink coffee he said it stains my teeth

and now it’s all over her skirt, he’s knocked it over
and it’s red and cool and sticky like drying blood,
she can smell the sweetness and it makes her dizzy
her mother was right

Never trust boys they’ll do anything

She looks up and he is grayish white, are you
okay, but he half stands up and she sees the question
is irrelevant, kind of like the question he
asked her after math class on Tuesday

Would you like to have coffee sometime he said
I never drink coffee it stains my teeth
but I hear you love the stuff he said

She still has the homework from that class in her backpack,
she hasn’t gotten around to doing it yet,
there is something black on his sweater and
it’s heavy and spreading and he reminds her
of someone she’s seen before
maybe in a war movie or something and then he falls he’s like
a crumpled origami crane and

Do you remember chemistry lab freshman year

It’s a thing that could have happened to anyone
but never her never this and there is blood and soda all over
the ground and she slips on her
origami differentials her flat sandals are wet

I loved how you were so excited about
everything we did he said Be careful
she said They’ve only got one thing on their

Maybe if she runs she’ll have a better chance
so she runs towards the coffee shop but her
mother was right

these sandals are too cheap you’ll
get blisters

She falls and the pavement is cool under her knees
and it’s not so much pain as just pressure,
it swarms to her upper back and thrums and thrums
her heart’s been cut in half

I wanted to tell you how beautiful you were
but I never got a chance he said

Buildings hanging in the brassy darkness