I am still carrying this one girl with me
the one with the heavy hoops,
and sad auburn hair
Girl it is cold, I know this,
but there are different things lacing their heads around the corner
and soon you can pick all your nails down to the stubs again.
Off the cash-register again,
but this time it's the washroom sink
with twin cracks through the granite.
And your dad will half-ass the paint job
meaning yes, you can shift through the garage looking
for a shoddy GPS with no blinker,
you can leave it all in the hatched space
housing his hybrid tomato plants, how’s that.
After I watched the Barbie movie half-asleep,
nothing stuck except this one photo of Ken
where he keeps repeating I drive I drive I drive
I started thinking like what if I dropped that girl, and I drove too,
past the ravine and the midnight bath and the fucked-up tattoo parlour
where they make your stencil three sizes too small,
maybe on purpose.
So you’ll come back and.
Get it fixed.
When I am walking at night and listening to my friend’s voice messages
her voice is apple-crisp
I think if I’d heard her over the radio a first time
I would never put the phone down.
But since I’m walking at night I don’t put the phone down either way,
and when someone walks past me without coughing
I consider doing the splits, or even
shimmying up the nearest telephone pole.
Like a weird, banana-hating orangutan.
And today I spilled water
on my favorite book and it became dimpled,
maybe a little ugly.
I began grieving and experience says that is a long, sickly process.
Lots more voice messages.
Throwing all my earrings out.
Repainting the sink bubblegum-pink.
I consider raiding my nearest convenience store,
I think about all the pigments hued in my skin, the blue the red
the moss green, etching out
a single monstera. About how it feels to drive for a long time, how the make
of the steering wheel feels after years of you gripping it like a lifeline.
What a long, enduring process it is with not enough breaks.
And how we all move a little too slow through this world.
Like the way I’m swimming through the bath, towards myself,
I’m so loose-limbed the water turns a little green.
I’m so heavy and I still think about dying my hair back to auburn,
getting more piercings that never heal, peppering my body with holes
like a sad, acupunctured puppet,
it has been years and I still have some thoughts.
But I can fix all of these things so easy. All I have to do is stand up.
Abigail Chang is a writer currently based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work appears or is forthcoming from Fractured, Salamander, Quarterly West, The Normal School, Los Angeles Review, Room, Cortland Review, the Shore, and elsewhere. Find her at twitter @honeybutterball or at abigailchang.carrd.co