Fairy Tale in Which You Date the Morally Ambiguous Boy in Math

Charlotte Hughes

Shit pearls. 

Go to the mind reader at the Woodlawn strip mall and pay them fifty dollars for a lesson. Plan to mind-read the boy’s phone number.

You must be luminous at every social event. Take your pink plastic hand-mirror and stomp on its face; crush the mirror-shards in an apothecary bowl and swipe the powdered mirrors onto your eyelids.

All he can see is himself.

When you go to the zoo, kiss him behind the giraffe exhibit. After, when you feed the giraffes refrigerated lettuce, pretend to be shocked by their tongues that are the color of bruised feet. Feel their raised taste buds and squeal.

Debate the semantics of feminism. Tell him you believe in equality but just don’t want to put yourself in a box, you know?.

Cough to the rhythm of a Mozart concerto.

When he is not there at lunch, assume the role of medium. He is sitting across from you in spirit.

Go to Bi-Lo to get a brown paper bag. The night before your differential equations test, cut and paste the grocery bags into a stiff-pleated minidress.

(The next day, he will compliment you because you are not a fussy girl. You will score three points lower than him on the differential equations test because you made a silly mistake).

When you get sick in January the only cure is twice-worn sweatshirts.

When your best friend tells you that he was messing around with a mutual friend in the parking lot, hex the mutual friend. Spiders and scorpions fall from her mouth when she speaks. She’ll go to urgent care, twice.

That is the day he says he forgives you.

Piss rosewater.

Ideologically, you have already married your AmEx. You are sorry to say this to him.

The day your best friend tells you that he was messing around in the parking lot again, go to the zoo. Hex your best friend because she breathes out lies. Let the tallest giraffe lick your face with its bruised-foot tongue. It feels like a kiss. 

Cry fruit-flavored vodka.

He has not texted you back for a week. Imagine that the power lines have fallen in his neighborhood, covering his house with thorns and dead signals.

That night, when you call your friends to talk and all you can hear are the sounds of spiders & scorpions crawling over the phone receivers, cry. Pour your tears in a glass and drink them all. Notice that they taste like brine. 


Charlotte Hughes is a high school senior from South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in PANKWaxwingThe Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @charlott3hughes.