How to Take the Fall
Fall into the crevice of a woman with wild and lingering eyes—a woman who loiters but never connects. Opens herself to you; shows you the cliff and the void below, but never allows you to stay where it’s safe.
When she asks you to carry the gun, you must hear the Google translation: I love you. You must carry it with pride. Give it your fingerprints like when she presses her lips into your inner thighs. How else do you say yes? How else do you say I love you, too?
* * *
There are rules:
You will drive the car. You will be quiet. You will drive faster. You will listen. You will drive slower. You will obey. You will stop. You will go. You will stay. You will wait. You will leave.
But the most important rule to remember is that you will always come back.
Even when you hear the gunshot. Even when you feel the handle rough between both your palms.
* * *
When you are arrested, you must confess. You must tell them about the way she looked at you from the other end of the bed. Tell them how her mouth felt like a promise. The way her tongue wrote devotions between your legs.
When they ask who, tell them about her wild and lingering eyes.
When they ask why, tell them about the Google translation.
When they ask where, tell them about the cliff and the void below.
When they ask how, tell them you jumped.
The last time I saw my mother, weak
with a thirst she could not quench,
I kissed her goodbye
afraid it was the last time
I would see her. Lucky me,
when she left, she left herself
inside my brother.
She gave him everything
she could not hold or stand
inside herself. She made him
her equal, measured out in pints.
The L Word got it wrong
on season two episode four
benjamin bradshaw calls a ferret
a thieving rodent and you
send me a video of rudy
his long body pouncing at your feet
look at how cute he is
he hops for a sesame snap
of course it’s not true
a ferret is not a rodent
but all i can think of is how you say my name
with your french canadian accent
with your leonard cohen tongue
with your boyfriend in the background
asking why are you recording
you offer me as an explanation
am i a thieving rodent?
isn’t that what love is after all, stealing
glances stealing hearts stealing
lovers or did The L Word
get that wrong too?
i asked nicole to be my amy
not thinking of the implication
or the way i used to wonder
if i’d really like amy in person
i don’t even like my own mother
after a pint of whiskey or
after a box of wine or
after waking up with a crooked neck
head buzzing like a beehive
head buzzing like stage lights
shining on this bathroom floor
i don’t like raspberries
she says they’re too sour
the tiny hairs tickle the inside of her cheek
the seeds get stuck in her teeth
she’d rather hassle with dismantling a mango
than put up with that frivolous fuchsia fruit for fuck’s sake
we’re doomed aren’t we?
she nicks her finger trying to cut the tri-colored skin
takes the taste of metal into her mouth
and asks why
because neither of us would opt for an apple
Alisha Escobedo is an MFA candidate at Antioch University Los Angeles. She is also Proof Edit Manager for Lunch Ticket. Her work can be found in Desolate Country: We the Poets, United, Against Trump and Prompts!: A Spontaneous Anthology. She currently resides in Long Beach, CA.