My truest one-night stand, no last names exchanged. He was dressed like Frankenstein’s monster and we littered my sheets green with peeling body paint. In the morning, I giggled in the bathroom with my roommate.
The next man I dated, when I convinced myself that I had pulled my shit together, was nicknamed “tiny hulk” by college buddies — something about a drunken fraternity night. I found the connection amusing, though I never told him.
I accept the anger I think I deserve, and what I reach for in the evening is green skin. Slurred criticism and slammed doors, airborne cups, hands slapping against street signs that echo for months. Once you’ve had a hand raised against you, you live the rest of your life waiting for it to come down.
Maggie Petrella (she/her) is a poet living in Buffalo, New York. She is a business analyst with a passion for bagels, warm blankets, and soft words. She has been making noise for 25 years but is still finding her voice. Her poetry has appeared in Detritus Online and dreams walking, and she has forthcoming work in Variety Pack. She tweets @maggie_425.