Julie Ako


a cerulean wetness;

he sticks out his hand,
drips mountain honey
all over her new blouse
on this metal bench
in Kilbourn Park

the sun is lackluster
and wanes into the sky
as if saying, “Julie, I must
go, I cannot bear to see you
like this”

he waxes further into her
plays her flesh like piano keys
mashing into her with a boyish gracelessness
until she is out of tune and
plain-speaking with dissonance

he puts his lips on hers
there is no intimacy, just contact
the metal is cold against her thighs
and she is in need of a good washing

later in the evening,
turning circles in the bathtub
she imagines his labored breath,
the way his fingers grabbed
handfuls of her jowls and
what it must feel like to be in love

in the water, she scrubs her cheeks pink
imagining that this is what a tree must feel
towards the beginning of winter
naked, unsightly, shivering and cold

as she bathes,
the moon peeks through her window
as if to say, “I am here, Julie, I will share
this weight with you,” but she draws the blinds
no time for moonbeams, just self-imposed seclusion

“the bench in Kilbourn Park is still there,”
she thinks

and he is somewhere, northbound maybe
she imagines his train stuck forever
at the stop right before he needs to get off

he waits two days before taking a shower
she waits seven before leaving the house

she imagines what Jesus felt like
and if home can really be a tomb

but in Kilbourn Park
there is no imagination

there is only reality:

he digs his mouth into
the nape of her neck

and she is too tired
to push him away

they sit like this,
writhing, until
the park lights go off

the sky is empty
save for one dull star,
the moon obscured behind
emaciated pines

he rifles through
her unbuttoned blouse
for something to hold on to

she stares skyward at
the lonely star as if to say,
“how wonderful it must be, to be up there
to be so beautiful and untouched”

she imagines taking flight
(a jutting of her collarbones)
(a sudden growth of wings)

she imagines sitting pretty in the sky forever

he calls her beautiful,
salivating over her exposed breasts

she imagines being out of reach
being anywhere
instead of here
on this bench
in Kilbourn Park


Julie Ako is a writer from Jupiter Island, FL, working and creating content somewhere in the Middle of America. She’s currently navigating her sexual identity with an explorer’s eye. Her first book of prose Tiger Balm will be available in early 2015. www.twitter.com/shitsage

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