This is a romantic comedy

On the phone, she didn’t have to call it

danger. We all know how to flirt our way out

if you have to. Watch your drink, park under a light,

walk so you can see between the cars.


We held hands to leave, though they hooted

at us to kiss when they saw. But how else to

hide the shaking. Bruises on her ass, her

wrists, her thighs. She called them geography.


Bad joke. Lessons they don’t teach in school, although

we all learned. We went to the movies. Watched a man

stalk his way past boundaries. A happy ending. Romantic

violins played. Violence behind sloppily applied foundation.


Driving home in the dark she told me something

I cannot tell you. Guess. But I made her pull off the

road. Fears like tears rolled down her cheeks.

There was never a way out, no map in the jockey box.


Just two trapped girls, seventeen at

midnight, stopped in the parking lot

of an autobody shop, jamming broken

hearts together, trying to be whole.


Author: Dyani Sabin

Dyani Sabin is a queer author of speculative fiction, poetry, and science journalism. Her work has been published in Strange Horizons, Enchanted Conversations, Vastarien, and Reckoning as well as Popular Science. You can find her haunting a cornfield, chasing ghosts on the endangered species list, or on Twitter @DyaniSabin.

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