Author: Janel Martinez

Janel Martinez is the poet/illustrator of Small Mountains (2013) & Too Much (2015). Their work has been featured in What Kind Of Trouble VII and Colour In Your Cheeks. Follow them on Tumblr and Twitter.

Little Fear

The beach is ninety-eight percent humidity so that plan is shot down. There are seventeen mile per hour winds that nobody wants to feel with sand mixed in. A huge chance of rain. Everyone gets a say; we all say no. We decide to have a party. Someone gets the amps set up and the live wire crackles, bursts, and catches the carpet on fire. We put it out without much effort, nobody gets dramatic.

Someone hands you a red cup full of warm coke with rum. I feel jealous of the rum because I want some. After the fire we put the TV on and watch the trees through the window swaying over the tops of the houses. One of them bare and brown, moving less than the others, We talk about why that one is taller. We talk about why you are taller. I talk about how I think being short makes it difficult for people to respect me, which is why I walk around feeling like a child all the time. I think about how it must be psychologically damaging if all people ever do is look down on you, and to have to constantly be looking up.

For you the impulse to make music is always there. The music is playing softly while you ignore me. I ask you to hold me decently, you hold me, I ask you to hold me, you say, I am, I say you’re not, I push you away, it feels inauthentic. We are in a place where it doesn’t count unless you initiate. You say you like it when every song is short. I like it too, there is a pattern there that doesn’t get distracted. I can forgive you for starting the fire.

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