They are poised like French paintings, their boyfriends young and dangerous – the kinds that say here, babygirl; here’s how you deal with daddy issues or you’re so fucking fine. Their faces are unmatched with fear, hair tied in agony. They’re seventeen going on thirty, with bodies pierced with magnets. They say “marb red” to the convenience store clerk and then drive away with fifty more dollars in their pockets. They look at you in French and speak to you in German. They prefer boys who like sleek women, always taking out things from inside of them. For example, a baby that once climbed out of their frail bodies, later left wasted on the sidewalk. When they were young, the sun felt warmer on their face and their names rhymed like a poem. Now, they part their hair like they part their ways. Always late to parties. The life of parties. Pretty girls. One of those girls you stare, stare, stare, the distance seeming never-ending between you and them. But these girls, these girls eat quickly, taking the edge of their hunger. Go swimming in circles and sigh after their head bursts through the skin of the sea, always speeding past the world in their blue-rimmed sunglasses. Your mom doesn’t like them but you do because these girls know shit. They are left to themselves, the world around them is disguised in cheap stakes of cigarettes and ashes. They go to graveyards in search of peace. They build sandcastles that fall easily, headfirst onto the ground, take you to the lakes and dump you there, gawk at your dead body, take out your lungs and wear them to breathe like you, cut your heart in pieces and stare at it for a solid ten minutes before eating it, break your ribs to sell on their Etsy shops, make bracelets out of your eyes, pierce your nose and keep it as a souvenir on their desk. Burn all the water, and scream “fuck you” at anyone and everyone that says oh you’re so young. They darken themselves more with Dollar-store mascara and kohl, every inch of them clad in despair, I want you bad. These girls then drive to the end of the world with new lungs, hearts, ribs, eyes and noses. You only stare. The distance is never-ending.
Harsimran Kaur is a senior in high school in India. Her work appears in In Parenthesis, KNACK, Jellyfish Review, Big Windows Review, BULL, Jersey Devil Press, and elsewhere. She can be found on Instagram at @playitasitlaysss.