Julianne Neely

There is No Other Version of This Story


Alex jumped backwards off a bridge. You have my support
in this. You are Alex and you are
jumping backwards off a bridge. This is your most predictable
hour. Never knew you had a right foot until it stomped on the brake pedal.



I would watch cooking shows with you. I would
watch idiots run around racing a clock trying to figure out how to put canned sardines
into cake flour with you. I would watch pregnant teenagers screaming at one another
about paternity tests with you. I would watch a show about spoiled bitches married to
professional athletes who throw wine at one another with you. And if one of these stupid
shows were the last image my eyes seen, it would be
the best because your gaze touched it.



I hate you. Put me down
as officially hating you. Alex, go jump backwards off a bridge. You
and I. This is my apartment. I'll sit crouched in a closet
holding a grenade for the rest of my life if that’s
what I want. You
and you. Why are you in my apartment?
I need you
to jump backwards off a bridge. Nobody needs to die
to matter. Where are the drugs?
Alex? If it's you or this, it's this. Fine.
I'll shoot up with your perfume. Look
at me. Do I look like the truth or stained glass?

If keeping secrets is like keeping works of art call me Mona Lisa,
then fly in the whole word to see me stammering between happy and sad,
hanging to kingdom come. 



Blood lush. Humid blood. Hum blood. Ancient blood. All blood. Body blood. Loving
The idea of winter until it gets cold. Isn’t it weird that every small town has a big
problem? Blood that my grandmother would be so disappointed in. Was I born this way?
Shake. Shake. I'm starting to suspect this is neither magic nor an 8-ball.



Lay me down. The scales on the Atlas exploded. The Police arrested the wrong person.
The Robbers ran away with the trinkets. Figure out a person based on how long they
watch something gruesome before pardoning it. Not like the world. More like skin and
how sunlight hits it at dawn before I sneak out so silently I may as well be the color red.
You and I
and I wanted to say something terrible. The bedroom walls police taped. The light. When
you open your eyes you will see light and not me saying something terrible. You and I.
No, when you wake up I will not be there with the most terrible thoughts. And I will not
turn to your chapped lips and say there is more to life than writing things down and I
didn’t know until I heard your voice.



Ha. Juliet. You know, the sun, blah, blah. Nothing on Alex. That collarbone sinkhole dip.
Myriad women sunken. I remember kissing the neck and thinking about the freckle under
the bottom eyelid.



I used to be a lot sadder than I am
now, changing names and pronouns in a poem, kissing
a neck and thinking about dirty dishes in a sink. 

Julianne Neely is a writer from New York. She has been previously published in Unbroken Journal, Babe Soda Zine, Moon Zine, and Maudlin House. She hates bios but loves Harry Potter. She also likes Twitter. Follow her @juleneely. But not around in person. That would be weird.