by Joni Abilene


From The Starlights, free today.

“What happened to your face, Keith?”

“Oh, I—I got in a fight.”

“Another one?”

“Yeah, another one. Sally’s okay.”

“Do you want a ride?”

Do I want a ride? It’s the question of my life, like asking if I want eternal youth or a million dollars. Do I want to get in a car with the other woman I love, or do I say no, because no is the right thing to do, even though it will shove a blade into my heart so big I’ll never recover?

“Why didn’t you call me this week?” I ask. “You could have called. Dialed my number. Looked me up in the Yellow Pages. Once. Not twice or three times or any amount of times, just once. All I wanted was to hear the sound of your fucking voice, just once.”

“Ah, Keith, baby.”

“Don’t call me baby. I ain’t your baby.”

“I couldn’t call, because Sasha came home. I thought you understood.”

I start walking and she’s rolling alongside. “I didn’t know.”

“Well now you do. Are you really that mad at me?”

I am. I don’t love her. I never really loved her. I just wanted her so bad.

I was gonna do the tongue thing. She didn’t even give me the chance.