Flat and skinny with lush, straight
black hair flowing past her waist,
she could be Rapunzel, but talks
like a guy. We hang out in the same
crowd by the corner Carvel. She
laughs heartily at my wisecracks,
and like me, favors The Ramones
and hates the world. I reassure her:
nobody blames her for her older
brother’s suspected role in setting
up a well-liked neighborhood pot
dealer for a home-invasion-gun-
point-robbery. Seventeen, she takes
no breaks between seedy boyfriends.
She dumps the latest, a puppy-dog-
eyed asshole after a roll of quarters
she keeps stashed in the sock drawer
of the dresser by her bed disappears.
Next day, it’s me and Donna, smoking
a joint, lounging in the back seat of
a friend's wreck. The way she laughs,
talks, and her hair—strikes me—
as better than tits or ass. We get into
making out—when abruptly, she pulls
away, says, "We can't, we're friends."
"Oh," I say, sadly, "you mean like you
just wanna be friends?" "No," she says,
"it's just that we are friends."
Ted Jonathan is a poet and short story writer. Born and raised in the Bronx, he currently lives in New Jersey. His poems and stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, most recently: Paterson Literary Review, Hiram Poetry Review, and Open Minds Quarterly. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. His chapbook Spiked Libido was published by Neukeia Press. His full-length collection of poems and short stories, Bones & Jokes, was published by NYQ Books (2009). His poetry collection RUN was published by NYQ Books (2016). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org