If I could change my name I would go by something that sounded like a last name. Like Sloan. I think I would like the way that sounded from your mouth. Spilling out, full of my name. I would be a girl from the upper east side. Very groomed, fingernails and legs always shinning, but just earthy enough for it to seem natural. Blonde hair that looks like it did when I was 8 and spent the summer on a river. One day I’ll come back to your place in the woods carrying coffee from the corner store and I’ll be telling you a story like I do; face lighting up. Mouth wide. Tearing open sugar packets and crumpling napkins so intently that I wont notice your face, your open boyish face looking at me, maybe looking into me. It will be fall and we’ll be wearing sweaters, mine nubby over a bathing suit top and white pants. I wont feel it. Your blue eyes will be soft when they meet mine. I’ll turn around to see your face and it scares me for a second. Then I’ll know. You say it at first as if you are scared, a threat in your voice as if you’ve been shot. You have. I wont hear the floorboards groan as you take creaking steps towards me, hiding a smile. I love you, you’ll say. As if you just thought of it. As if you’ve known it forever and only remembered to say it. I’ll be clutching a sugar packet, my back pressed against the old sink, a world of air hanging between us. I’ll say it too. I’ll mean it. Then you’ll take your time, handling my face, breathing me in, kissing me as if you knew me. As if you know me.
Then a winter with lights that blur on the glassy sidewalks. You, folding me into your arms, your bed. And pretending, pretending, pretending. Until it becomes real.