Rebekka Hochrath

[imperative] forget at 4:39 am

you say [goodbye] to your best friend, knowing
she will get impregnated by a german in mexico while
pigeons holler by the bridge. you wish you could walk without
her by your side, the consistent [click] of her predictability.
[un]fortunately, you don’t believe in hexed wishes [you can’t]
but the world does and so does she. you carry your feet, killed
woman, past an abandoned soccer cage, spotless graffiti [sometimes anti
social], and waving grass, smoking in the rolled-up white of the moon.
you don’t wave; the motion of a kiss rubs hard against the shell
of her yellow rain jacket. It is blown gone and away, she, your favorite
flicker. you stomp toward your future; she has hers in her hands, the feather
ring of promised fidelity. things change, you think, fingering
your pepper spray. but you have rights to more than footnotes and rainbows; you cannot decapitate
your hopes, the smoke signals of your self. she succumbs to the hetero shit. you are still god
[female] you must be – otherwise...the wind howls, her back is turned and you pull
tobacco. you have always known you would lose her to a man.
the confirmation of her rear license plate, red lights on, makes you shake
your heart. you don’t want any more. you behead your longing, musty and yellow, crumbling
parchment edges, magazine still full, blood blade. you cannot find a grave for your soul
less desire that was never meant for her to discover. she refused to care, against
her touches and her eyes, broken, against the torch she carried into your proclaimed
significance. instead, she locked the gun, the gun you have held in your hands to ratify reality. she took
it, always, pointed the weapon in a safe direction, unloaded and stored it where your brain could not reach.
she would be the one to shoot, dreaming [in] versions. however, you cannot control the wetness
between your legs when she moves her hands across your back and pets the prison of your nestled lies.
you wish you had told her the truth [absolute] but you have, your sisters insist, and the balance
sheet of give and take tells you [you waste love] it is your synapses strangling
every thought with clarity on the orbital target of her face. you know the truth, the fear
and the gun intimately when stroking your pubic hair that grows too fast for release,
when masturbating her name though the silence of the clean bed.
you have always wanted to put those bullets into air.

you eat your last bag of chips while she drives the car to the airport,
knowing the $4.39 you owe her will never be paid.

Rebekka Hochrath moved to Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, to be with her girlfriend. She works as a climbing instructor, having completed her master’s degree in American and English literature at the University of Mannheim, Germany. She loves the outdoors, hiking and bouldering, her cat Rey, and intersectional feminism. Her poetry has been featured in Sinister Wisdom and her short fiction has been published in Sweet Tree Review.