You remember your knees giving out, and that you nearly take a bulletin board with you— a poster of Marsha P. Johnson— on the way down. You remember him saying Fuck This, and an argument, and him resting you against the wall a moment as he turns around.
You remember that you are wearing a red dress, and that at the start of the night you thought you looked pretty, but now you are less sure. This is mostly because you’ve been vomiting, and you’re not sure that anyone looks pretty post-vomiting, although you are still secretly hoping that you do. You remember Ben trying to stop him, as he hoists you up onto his back, and him saying Trust Me I’ve Done This Before, Trust Me It’s Better This Way. You remember why Ben won’t trust him, but you remember that despite it all you do.
You remember your face, buried between his shoulder blades, the rock of his body up the steps like a boat, like the sea, like the summer you were seven and hauling up bait lines in Long Beach Island.
You remember the backs of your thighs hitting the bed, the spool of your spine unrolling down after them, you remember being lowered gently to the mattress. You remember the room is dark because your roommate is sleeping, and that you close your eyes, and that your mouth feels tacky and stale. You remember him taking off your socks. His hand— feather light touch and so careful— holding up your ankle. A gentle and temporary stay from gravity
Devon Borkowski is a writer, painter, and actor from the New Jersey Pine Barrens, who recently graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in visual arts. Previously Devon has published poetry with The Writers House Review, The Dillydoun Review, and Rockvale Review. Her short stories are upcoming in Room Magazine, and the anthology “My Wedding Date: Tales from the Tables”.