I'm standing on a soaking wet trampoline facing a boy whose chain-smoking as furiously as I am, moving up and down on the stretch of black like we're on a boat or floating on our backs in the water.

"the stars," I say, arms flung wide. "look at them, millions and millions of wishes just hanging on them."

he smiles at me, dangerous and explosive – I want to crash myself against him, drown in the way he smells. He lights another cigarette; the scent of menthol camels wraps around me, I drag my fingers down my neck, I wonder what strangulation feels like.

"I'll climb up there, I'll find one that's as full of desperate restlessness as you are. I'll look until my skin burns off," he drops to his back, both hands splayed above his face.

I watch him, twirling my hair around my fingers until its knotted and I feel helplessly trapped.

"what if you can't find one? What if you come back and I'm not here? What if I get lost in the background?" I jump, I light another Marlboro. Water, I want water.

"lets go, I want to scream," his mouth moves slowly, his words hit me like bullets in the shoulders, the tension spiraled under my skin in my back shatters into my bloodstream. I shake and I laugh , he pushes me off the circle of black canvas, I land on my hands and knees and I spread my fingers out, the smell and feel of wet grass overwhelms me.

I want to rip the ground apart, find the pulse and the heartbeat, I tremble. He lands on his face next to me, blue and pink hair exploding across the white of his t-shirt. "I like to collect people," I tell him, "I feel fragile."

I take his keys while he laughs, run barefoot across the grass to his car, a blue truck. He tackles me, pins me against the side. I lean forward and rest my forehead on his shoulder.

"are you going to explode?" he asks me, I can feel his piano-laying fingers curving and molding to my forearms.

"no, I'm like the witch, I melt," I say, my lips are numb, his skin burns me.

"swimming. I want to SWIM." I scream like it'll help the complete state of joy I am in to spread like the black plague and wipe out millions of feelings of sadness and helplessness I want to drown, I want to breathe I want to throw myself down a hill, roll and spin until I'm flat on my back, feeling like I'm a part of something or maybe I'm dying, the way my mind can't hold onto any thoughts.

"you can't stop talking, can you?" his hands are moving, my skin, my shirt, my jeans. I jump at every new sensation, for tonight, I am in love with you. Your face is familiar and strange all at once

"I have to much to keep in," I whimper, I bite his shoulder experimentally, he jerks forward, his hips crash into mine.

"let's go swimming," his voice is shaking. I watch the scenery flash by and the music pouring from the speakers rearranges my heartbeat. I am holding onto the dashboard and laughing, I am restless, I am free, I feel dangerous and helpless, and I want to escape.

"we should run away, are you thirsty?" he swings into a 24-hour gas station, we stare at the coolers.

"I want to make a pop tab necklace," I say, catapulting out of his truck. He laughs, pale and skinny in the oppressive gasoline smell, he is exactly my choice of suicide.

"I have mountains of money saved up. We can live forever. We can die tomorrow." His walk is so arrogant it makes me laugh, "You're a child," I tell him. He drags his fingers down the glass door.

"You were made to shatter," he says roughly, his hands are on my face, fingertips like sandpaper on my cheekbones. My skin feels like it's stuck to his fingers.

"I want you to tear me apart," he says softly, I choke on air, I run in the store, I get lost in the aisle with ice cream and French fries; chap stick, Advil and tweezers sandwiched at odd angles. The shadows flinging themselves across the pink and blue floor tiles play follow-the-leader with me, I jump diagonally, and the clerk stares at me, gray hair to her shoulders.

I want to ask her how many dreams she had in her life, how many came true. I think the answer will make my heart break.

He finds me with my face pressed to the mirror in the bathroom. I'm laughing at how small my pupils are, black pinpricks surrounded by dark brown. My hair is sticking out haphazardly, just cut today and looking as if it hasn't seen scissors in years. I look like I just had sex in the back seat of a moving convertible. I spin in circles, I've forgotten where the door is. "come out when your ready," he touches my mouth with his hand.

Does he really want to run away? I would write him poetry and read him postsecret books, I would send him spiraling into ruin and let him break me until I'm nothing. I wander out, he's leaning against the wall, hands full of bags, I see monster cans, I see skittles, & trashy magazines & beer.

"Your going to wear me out," he grins when I launch myself onto him. God I want to feel every inch of him, I want to suck on his feverish skin. "We have a drug supply to get," he says. I squeal.


We walk through backyards, passing a pipe back and forth, taking another hit of E. I can feel my blood twisting under my skin, wanting to pour out, stain me, sign me, own me. I wonder if I'd be able to smell anything but how coppery and bitter it is. Would I die, knowing I was bleeding to death? That every vein had burst open and I was drowning?

"you know, beautiful things are rare. Like flowers, look how rare flowers are, they die and grow back and die and grow back with almost no help and people still cut them and dig them up to give to everybody else how come we can't say I love you with a dozen pieces of grass or a dozen rocks, or a big heart-shaped cookie? Why do flowers mean so much?" he doesn't pause for breath, I am on my knees, shaking with hysteria.

The world spins away from me, I spiral in and out of existence, I watch myself fade away into a shadow and slam back as neon colors pieced together with rusty staples. His hands are heavy on my hips.

"Where're we going? When'll we be there? And I don't know, I wish I could draw a picture. Stick figure plus stick figure plus heart," I sit down on the sidewalk, coughing on a hit. My nails dig bloody lines down the ridge of my collarbone. His palm closes on my wrist, he knocks me backwards, I swallow a scream and oh, my mouth is bursting apart, I'm on fire.

He whispers my name into my hair, kisses me, bites me, I taste his blood on the back of my teeth. I'm hungry, hungry and helpless, I'm afraid of you. Still, your beautiful enough to be ugly and I, fuck, I want to tear you apart. "I promise, it won't hurt a bit," I say into his ear, his breathing freezes pieces of my hair to my skin.

"it'll hurt on a sidewalk," he says and helps me up. A light flashes on in the house we're standing in front of him, he lets loose a high-pitched scream for help, takes the hand I'm using to light a cigarette, and we run.


We're on the highway, music blasting and five cartons of cigarettes sitting in the console between us, we've got so many drugs hidden in his car, I half expect people to still come across some in years. Realistically, they'll be gone to keep us from killing each other. Already, I hate you (but you taste like what ifs and memories, and I want you to drive me to violence).

"I want a tattoo," I tell him, tracing music notes on the insides of my wrist. He has a snake twisting from his neck to the back of his left hand. I wonder if he's ever been in love.

"my cousin owns a shop. You should pack a bowl," he nods at the weed and I fall silent, my head swollen with heaven and hell and the yellow brick road to each fraught with Neverland stars and Wonderland rabbit holes. Good intentions are not a temptation in my dizzy existence.


we're parked at a rest area and we're walking down a path that supposedly leads to a lake or a stream or maybe some ancient burial ground, but all I know is the leaves that give my face invisible cuts feel like some kind of promise.

"You know, my head feels like it's floating away," he says softly. "I've never had it so intense, before. Maybe it's you," he stops, grabs me by the hips when I slip on the rain-soaked grass. I open my mouth, I close it. I'm still bleeding. Jesus, Jesus, tell me what to do.

"I….kiss me?" I whimper. My voice is thin and shaking, I watch his eyes change colors. Or I think they do, maybe it's the noises just behind my feet, the movements I can't see, only feel.

"can I hurt you?" he asks me, his lips brushing my neck, my lips, my shoulder. He slides his hands under the hem of my shirt, my stomach wraps around my heart, I feel so tangled up in myself I'm lost.

I whisper yes, and my nails are plucking at his belt before I can stop myself. He sinks his teeth into the slope of my neck and shoulder, the skin breaks, my mind reels. I twist my fingers in his hair, longer and brighter than mine. I slam his mouth into mine, teeth grinding against each other.

He drags me down on top him, and I let myself scream, his hands tearing at my hair and my nails digging into his shoulders.

a/n: dedicated to Laura. I've been in love with you for two years, Girl Contraband, I can't wait to know what you smell like and what it feels like to touch you, hug you, wish I was in Aarons shoes.