Coming up for Air

You dragged me to the show at Corona Theatre

telling me, wait, just wait

and I waited, but nothing happened. I made

up a lot of poems in my head,

of how much I hated their sound in 1997

and it could have been so much of a better

year if you never bought me those tickets.


Please do  not remind me of Andre

who gifted me Ratt tickets and ditched

me so I ran to the mosh pit with my brother

and flannel shirts weren’t in style yet.


the boys like you, he laughed, buying me another

round of beer at sixteen.


The energy reminded me of how

I loved every ounce of your being.

When you approached me, when

you didn’t. When you sat next to me,

when you didn’t. When you fell for me,

when you didn’t. The music aroused me

as you knew it would, but Nina Simone

kept playing in the background of your

old apartment building on the corner of

Jeanne-Mance, right near the hotel

where I lost my virginity at.

You rolled your

eyes at me, like I was just another girl.


you’re the one, you said, you have to 

be the mother of my children. 


I suppose those are the reasons

you got down on one knee

imagining this is what I wanted.


I took the subway to my American Lit

class, it was starting in twenty minutes.

Fuck, I was late again.


The professor invited me over.

God, how complicated

everything seemed.

I should write a thesis.

I should give him a blowjob.

I should become a writer.

I should teach.

I should eat his enchilada

it was Mexican night

for the grad students.


No, I’m an undergrad. 


All the while, there were no cell phones,

no text messaging.

Just me and the grad students

and Mexican night.

So I sat on this bed

and had an interesting conversation

with the professor’s son.

He was eleven.

I slipped out the backdoor.


Ain’t got no smokes, I sang to myself.


I come up for air once in a while,

most of the time

I write in my head.





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