Clementine | Laura Mayron

“We’re going to be man slayers,”
you told me, fox eyes glimmering.
We were nine, on the playground.
I knew you would be,
with your sharp, fast grin
and trickster ways.
Already you were revolutionary.
You moved through the woods like a sprite
daring and limber among the sweet-smelling eucalyptus
as we searched for fairies among the leaves.
You were already one of them,
leaving me, all gangly limbs and confusion,
to worship your glow.

Six years later,
and you’re smoking out your bedroom window
beautiful in the late night,
long thin fingers and the sharp curve
of your shoulders
cutting into the blackness.
I, uneasy child,
sat on the carpet watching you
amidst your magazine clippings
and The Pixies playing quietly,
listening to your tales of sexual awakening
and blurry drug highs.
I thought that Clementine,
the name that was supposed to be yours,
would have suited you better.
You, in your mystery
were lost to me, gone to where I couldn’t follow.

You found the cigarette on the ground
as we walked in the cool dusk.
“Smell it,” you said, “it’s cloves.”
We walked
and you told me of your latest writing.
You wrote these stunning, raw stories
that spoke from your veins
about people like you,
rough and in love among pills
and smoke.
I always wondered, though, why
you wrote about those sad lonely boys
when you should write of
spiraling, iridescent you.
You were a thousand stories.
Even craving a high you were still like magic.

I don’t see you much these days.
But every time I paint my lips
red like blood,
ready to slay,
I think of you
and your scattered pages.
I’m dangerous now, like you taught me.
I smell eucalyptus and cloves
and think of us together
as I walk into the dusk, alone,
war paint on,
fox eyes glimmering.

Laura Mayron, queer-identifying and 21, is a student at Wellesley College. Originally from Maui, Hawai’i, Laura wants to go back in time to have a drink with Spanish surrealists. “Clementine” was originally published in The Wellesley Review.
Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.