teenagers, finally by Mia Nelson

tonight we crush the corpses of keystone lights with our bare hands not feeling or
not caring about the metal edge cutting for blood because this is the night of
dancing so closely the baby-soft hair of drunk girls gets stuck in my teeth and my
eyes water with the smoke curling its skinny wrists towards the sky, which is so
dark I can feel in me the circular motion of our so young bodies hurtling towards
the crowded dorm rooms of yellowing posters and scream singing and the
heaving joy of red cups lined up perfectly. tonight is the night of feeling a
stranger’s hand clasp my hip, of watching Annika’s confused laugh tumble out of
her as a boy we don’t know kisses the softest depth of her neck in the broken
heels part of the evening where we are both open handed and so loud chewing
bubble gum and begging for a hit, please, of a stranger’s e-ciggarete while two
girls take their time messily applying silver gloss in the bathroom. we are
walking back and forth seeing our breath smear the night air, which is cold like a
knife edge licked because it is covered in cake batter. we are like everyone else
in ten layers of foundation and hot pink push-up bras with our obvious, insulting
want. of course the only kind of sweetness we like is that which comes with the
threat of cutting our tongues. wine gushes out of her nose as Annika laughs,
tipsily making a joke about her mother’s sobriety. earlier, she put on my make-up
and told me that tonight is the night of not-feeling so bad for ourselves,

but the song stuck in my head is the one about back car seats and the night so long
ago where we curled together in the same bed and fell asleep telling the story of our
future lives, how we would one day find ourselves in the kind of basement light that
would finally make us beautiful. Yes, my oldest friend, Yes, we are so beautiful, we
are almost invisible.