30 Beginnings: Mary Miller
My sister is inside watching a movie and bleeding.
Mr. Fuller was the new choir teacher.
He shows you his drawings, sketchbooks full of naked women.
The whole time I was manipulating him I was telling him how it was done.
Now that I’ve finished grading, finished everything here that there is to finish, I’m in bed, watching the occasional big-winged bird fly by, listening to the crackheads smash their words together.
File his stories in your head: Homosexual experience, Threesomes, prostitution, Asian girls.
They were talking about their diseases.
Denis called his fiancée my old lady.
There’s a leak, I told him, it’s right over my bed.
He had an air gun, a beer box set up to shoot.
You’re making out with a stranger in a trailer when the bed breaks.
I went to a wedding reception at the house of a man who painted with his ass.
It was a summer program.
She digs her nails into my arm and I let her because this is what she knows of love.
The first thing Norbert tells me is that he’s been to all seven continents, including Antarctica.
When I woke up, I couldn’t remember what we’d fought about, just that we’d fought.
Reggie stays up all night to watch me sleep.
He has a card table in the laundry room, where he sits.
When you tell Pauly you love him, he gives you a sad look and says he doesn’t feel the same way.
Every day after school Carrie sits on the trunk of his blue-green Honda and you want to ask for a ride but you don’t, even though you know he is waiting for you.
I sat across from a crumpled woman who appeared to be miscarrying.
I’m at my cousin’s house, watching her fix dinner for her twins, who are trying to toss themselves out of their highchairs.
See him rounding the corner in the midday heat, wearing the nice lined pants he used to work in, cut off at the knee.
I get off early and go over to his house.
“You’re wearing Coco Chanel,” he says to the girl at the bar.
I spend my weekdays stuffing envelopes and answering telephones for a financial company.
Her heart swells like someone turned a faucet on.
At lunch I sit in the ditch with the thin popular girls and pretend to be one of them.
My father did not like my sister’s orange hair.
At the breakfast table my mother said the world was my oyster.