MESSIER 83 by CHRISTINE NO

My Own Private Idaho: Tuesday night at the New Beverly Cinema. Five-dollar double feature, don’t remember the second one. Gummy seats, sticky floor and nobody there but us (and the) creeps. You, in love with the girl who stood you up: The thrift shop dress and vintage nickname. Me, last minute sub, extra ticket—

Footwork the pingping of street lamps – how we knew dawn and dusk that year—light up the sidewalk, worn sneaker shuffle curbside dance. Cigarettes half smoked, relit and bent. The screech and sigh of bus route, brakes; still, the comfort of a way home. Still, missed three before I ran out of excuses—

Slouched by the speakers at a noise show, at a rave, at a house party: noise. That bar, this venue, Le Poisson Rouge, The Smell, all those warehouses: the back alley front doors and sketchy doormen. Young and cocky, sweat floods the jukebox with Joy Division – gimme quarters -Talking Heads. Your don’t give a shit whole room staring smirk. My eyes closed, mascara black streak – feeling for your hand through the electric din; the joyful rattle of my teeth and jaw—this love a building on fire, this love to raze a city.

Lost in 29 Palms, looking for stars. 85 degree midnight, car engine warm on the backs of my thighs. You and Jeff kill a fifth of Cazadores while I laugh and laugh into the pitch-dark expanse, Throw my head back into Orion’s Arm; into the whole swirling galaxy—

 


Christine No is an Oakland based poet, essayist and producer. She is a Sundance Alum, VONA Fellow, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 2017 Nominee. You can find her work in: The Rumpus, sPARKLE+bLINK, Columbia Journal, Story Online, Apogee, Atlas and Alice, and various anthologies. Christine’s got two chapbooks, one website and a pit bull named Brandy. Say hi, here: christineno.com

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