A Slow Song (Belle Gearhart)

Dad called me on my broken cell phone and told me you were on the streets.

I was in a bedroom in Leffert’s Gardens, burning.
I listened to a slow song on a loud train, went to a noise show, only saw your baby face
walking up and down the avenue, hungry and strung out.

I watched another woman run her fingers through my lover’s hair,
my stomach did a backflip, and I walked home alone in the dying sunlight.
Gowanus was fading fast, hazy in the last moan of summer,

I listened to a slow song, I got on the train; you were still halfway across the
country, you were still killing yourself to live,

we are different and we are the same; dad called me to tell me you were

Dad called me to tell me he couldn’t do anything.

My lover came into our bed that night, and did not feel the weight on my chest;
my lover came into my bed that night and ran fingers against the trench of flesh

between my hips and thighs.

I sang a slow song in my head. I felt like I was being sucked into a fever dream,
Brooklyn was as hot as an oven; I was hungry, I know you were, too.

I wish I could have shared a pizza with you,
I wish I could have watched you make mashed potatoes for that sad Thanksgiving dinner again
without mom in our dad’s two bedroom apartment.

You were shirtless and seventeen and had tattoos on you done in a garage.

I thought about your stomach and my stomach; we both used to be chubby as teenagers.
I got poor and stuck in a big city, and you started doing heroin.
I shoplifted a box of mac and cheese from a Duane Reade one night
because I had not eaten in two days.

I wish I could have shared that with you, too.


Belle Gearhart is an upcoming writer with forthcoming work in Dollar Store Mag, Capsule Stories, Bullshit Lit, and Flash Frog Lit. They have recently published work in Bureau of Complain. They are a displaced New Yorker living in Southern California with their partner, child, and many cats.


image: “Lost:” Andrea Damic lives in Sydney, Australia.  Words in @50wordstories@FridayFlashFict@paragraphplanet@100WordsFTW and Microfiction Monday Magazine.Photographs in @rejectionlit@FusionArtPS and several others pending print publication in @DoorIsAJarMag. Follow Andrea on TW @DamicAndrea. One day she hopes to finish and publish her novel.