Victory Star Drop by Clem Flowers

Late night

Stolen liquor

Junior year 

Paper due on the literary style of Fitzgerald vs. Faulkner due that Monday

You couldn’t even legally drive yet


Your friends picked you up


& you laughed & sang & played video games down in your rich friend’s family basement that was more like a luxury apartment 

& then you can’t remember who, but someone loudly suggested spin the bottle

& you were normally so nervous


You were desperate for some sort of affection some sort of kindness some sort of semblance that you weren’t just a shadow passing thru life waiting that lunar bus to roll down the mountain & take you to the next life of exactly the same

Plus, you were an unholy mix of excited, drunk, and horny. 

So you sat in the circle. 

You waited your turn. 

You spun the bottle. 

It landed on your best friend. 

He smiled. 

You kissed 

& he was your first love your secret boyfriend all his tattoos would be a bittersweet reminder when he gave them to you years later for all the joy he brought into your life and how he helped break you out your sheltered suburban shell & helped you make friends & got you skateboarding & got you into punk & helped you realize you were gay & how 

much it hurt

When he told you he’d started seeing someone else. 

And how you had fun & you were still best friends. 

You grinned & agreed & he gave you a hug. 

& you wept so hard, to the point you thought you were going to puke, deep in the heart of that wooded thicket a distant uncle on your dad’s side you never actually met owned for hunting, wishing the world would just fall down on you and end all of this


You just blushed after the first kiss & all your friends hooted & hollered 

& then you got back to your shins & grinned & waited for your turn again

& you hoped it landed back on him

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