she doesn't know much about life

but she knows the way to her heart like the palm of her very own hand, with its lines of destiny and remnants of pink nail polish that strangely don't go away, not even with acetone. she looks at her bare back in the mirror, well, what she can see of it anyway. her california skin is covered in deep red scratches, like a sunset of wings she grew out of her back when she grew out of barbie dolls. she thinks it's a miracle. she thinks of her, the artist, the one who carved those impermanent tattoos on her skin. she thinks she is infinite. not herself, but her.

truth is

california boys don't know how to dance like she does. maybe their hearts aren't big enough. maybe it's true what they say about women: they're all treacherous. she doesn't mind if she is treacherous because she knows she would love her regardless.

color palettes may be her thing, but

no sunset colors in the world could describe last night. it's raw, visceral, magic. every word on every language ever invented on earth is reduced to dust. creation is at dawn. humanity stops and freezes. this is the moment the world has awaited. time stops. the earth breathes. the moon rises. they fall asleep, no blankets needed. the planet spins back into orbit. but it's a faster, giddy orbit, like it's trying to compensate for the time lost but it was glad to have been stopped. that night, she is sure every clock in the world was set back at least ten minutes. perhaps ten years.

perhaps in ten years

she will stop wandering about and fooling around and running away. she thinks of the world in terms of beds. she will settle down on a king size bed with a ring upon her finger from a man who seemed decent enough to call "the one" to her corporate friends but not quite decent enough to call "the one" to herself. the king size bed has building-grey sheets, because they are in this season. also because it's an artificial grey, and that kind of grey does not feature in the california sunset. she won't peroxide her hair anymore; she'll ombré it tastefully like the older girls in magazines buying anti-aging cream and desperately trying to convince the public they're two years younger than they actually are. perhaps he'll look like one of those boys in magazines. that wouldn't be so bad.

she takes a look at the bed she lies in. it's white and rustic and it could break at any minute and she belongs there. not in the magazines. despite the pink nail polish claws, she does not belong in the magazines.

maybe it's the way

she turns and tosses in her sleep, corrupting her own bedsheets with blood red lipstick as she speaks. she watches. she corrupted her skin, too, with that lipstick that matches the california sunset and the wings she gave her. she knows no one who wears lipstick after bedding someone so ferociously, but she does.

she turns on the radio softly

in order to not wake her up but god knows she can't do shit without vapid popular tunes that she knows she loves playing in the background. she gets ready. leaves a note. toys with the idea of not leaving that note but instead waking up the other one with a kiss. she is a coward. she does the next best thing: applies her red lipstick and kisses the paper with the phone digits on it. the phone digits are yet another goodbye: they're not real. in the mathematical sense, the numbers are real; in the real life sense, there is no line with that number. at the very least, if there is, it isn't hers. she ponders for a minute and draws a heart with a fake name next to it before fleeing it. there are no bags because bitches who like to leave know not to carry them. she flees the scene. in a few minutes there will be heartbreak, heartbreak in her heart, the heart of a girl who deserved better. it's already cooking up in her own heart. regret bleeds from her own wounds. she thinks the love of her life is a girl she met at a sketchy bar, who wears red lipstick to sleep and drew sunset wings on her back. it's past her due time.

she flees the scene.