Page 42

URGES Kelsey Gutierrez My clearest memory of eighteen is being pinned to a white, wrought iron day bed while a voracious teenager pried himself inside of me over my salt­water screams, Fugazi mumbling in the background. When I hear their 1988 EP, I still wipe phantom tears from my trembling mouth and consider the tidiest trajectory in which I can careen my car into the center divider. I wonder which fatal angle would be most convenient for the clean­up crew. In my head, I’ve written him postcards, sent him gas­station gifts and novelty t­shirts, You raped me eight years ago and all I got was this crippling case of post­traumatic stress. Anxiety has a not­so­funny way of army­crawling its way into the hollow of your throat and sucking the life out of your lungs as if they were foil balloons suffused with cheap helium. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this high­pitched panic and the convent of compulsions it brings. Most of my waking hours are spent trying to resist the unconscious need to press my fingernails into a steering wheel until my hands go numb, yanking fistfuls of my own hair, or pulling my bed sheets around me so tight that it gives the illusion of being held. Even now, the quick, uneven intake of my breath signals my boyfriend to ask what is wrong. I am struggling to find a way to tell him that I think about taking a framing hammer to my hip, feeling the bones like crushed hail beneath my skin. I wish I remembered prom instead.

Kelsey Gutierrez is a decent writer and an ugly crier. She, like you, is trying her best. She studies creative writing at California State University, Long Beach and was the recipient of the 2016 William T. Shadden scholarship in poetry.

Profile for Broad!

Broad!, Winter 2016/17  

Literary magazine containing fiction, poetry, art, and photography from writers and artists who identify as ciswomen, transwomen, and outsid...

Broad!, Winter 2016/17  

Literary magazine containing fiction, poetry, art, and photography from writers and artists who identify as ciswomen, transwomen, and outsid...

Profile for broadzine
Advertisement