Sharks by Kate Monica

Colorful Houses by Norahz Art
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Sarah in the driveway,
her face lit orange and horrific by the glow of her cigarette. I stare

through the pane behind her
at the strange hunger of an empty room,
how it develops everything;
how it makes me wish I was someone’s shadow—
negligible and unreal and always accompanied by something
more important.

Sarah survived being sixteen alone in her bedroom
listening at night to the highway;
she is on fire enough already to dream about trains but somehow
has to prove herself by brooding about all the persistent legs on the lawn
still dancing in gasoline shoes with matchbox feet,
still burning to fuck on hard surfaces as if that will be the irrefutable evidence
they need,
way too aware that if we stop moving
we’ll die.

She feels uncomfortable any time she is not trying to escape but turning
twenty is what it’s like to be petrified in amber;
a science experiment in sedentary decay.

She says she wishes we met before she got strange,
before everyone started worrying she was going to wander off when the crowd
wasn’t looking but

I like her this way.
I like how she sits with her knees up by her chin staring
blankly at the ashy pavement.
She won’t tell me what’s wrong, saying
that’s the problem, nothing’s wrong,
and it’s been a very long time since there was anything definitive to
softly squeeze and strangle
until the whimpering

I plan on exploring the sodden bridge arched over the brook behind
the middle school. I plan on
watching her eyes expand at the sight of how
the dead black tires look somewhat gorgeous jutting like bones out of the cellophane-taut

before we start to think
soberly counting the greenish pennies pressed
to the riverbed
is a ridiculous way to spend a Saturday,

but for now we’re all locked out
in the most delicious ounce of night,
our friends shouting from the porch
“Are they sleeping or dead?”

Kate Monica

Kate Monica is a college student in Connecticut and the author of Nervous Universe (Electric Cereal 2015). Follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.