Blackberries on Seventh
Did you call me?
I heard my phone ringing like a siren against my head, that awful blaring. Had to ignore it for the sake of a fine morning.
I know you're worried. The first doctor said I'm on fire like he hadn't ever seen, the last one said he'd walk me out.
I'm walking down a block, the cigarette burned concrete making lovely snares beneath my heels, glossy as glass eyes. The air is fresh as mint. Most of the time, women look at me like they love me. Love me, then.
Every window I pass has a heart in it which is what I like the most about February. How obviously pink everything is. There are beds I could sleep in, people who'd touch me if I asked. But I don't care.
I could send you flowers, though. I wouldn't mind because then I'd have a reason to buy some for myself. Maybe a bundle of tulips, white as teeth, that tiny yellow trumpet beneath the petals will sing you something lovely in the way I can't.
Do you remember that bathing suit you bought me the summer I turned ten? It was a gnarly blue with neon green stripes pasted across it. The stripes would grow into wide, wide roads when I leapt into the swimming pool. Back then, I leapt whenever I could. I've grown so stoic. Not even an explosion could irk me.
I'd spend hours and hours swimming, the water getting in my eyes and ears, clouding everything so all I'd have was my heart yelping. You called me a lobster which I never liked. I wanted to be a clamshell with something beautiful inside. I know, I know. How boring.
That summer, I weighed myself twice a day. I dragged your chipped scale, the one that was always five pounds ahead, to my bedroom. I was highly inflammable from there on out. Would move constantly, pinging from room to room. You'd tell me to take a nap and I'd start singing in that shrill falsetto which was always an impression of you. I don't think you knew.
At the end of the summer, the bathing suit didn't fit me anymore. I threw it away in the big trash can at the mouth of our driveway, the blue had faded into something softer. Like ice. And then, I didn't know what else to do but continue.
I'm in the park now.
I don't know what to do. You're not supposed to know anything about me. It has been years. But there has to be something else. I'm a lobster.
I'm dizzy as breaking news. I have blackberries in my pocket for an emergency which happen like habit now. The berries have bled through my dress like ink. I'm a wound. You can help but I need you to do something else besides call when you know I won't pick up. Yes, I think we can do that.
I'm malnourished, I'm sorry.
Jasmine Ledesma lives in New York. Her work has appeared in places such as The Southampton Review and Glitter Mob, among others. She loves the word odyssey.