Christi Brooks

Happy New Year

December 31, 2013
I wore a black and white striped sweater like a prisoner. He was late to the party with his friend and two girls. He smelled faintly of marijuana and cigarettes; I smelled of mint chewing gum and blind hope. I called him my boyfriend; he acted like a stranger. He left the party before midnight. He left me alone in a crowded room. The clock struck twelve.
          Airhorns—Confetti—Screams
Girls kissed boys. I kissed no one. I thought to myself, “This year will bring heartbreak.”
I was right.

December 31, 2014
I can’t recall what I wore; I must have been invisible. He was right on time with the wrong girl. He smelled of cologne and cheap beer; I smelled of perfume and desperation. I called him my best friend; he preferred to be her boyfriend. He remained by her side all night. I was alone in a crowded room. The clock struck twelve.
          Music—Cheers—Balloons
Girls kissed boys. I kissed vodka. I thought to myself, “This year will bring loneliness.”
I was right.

December 31, 2015
I wore a black skirt and a low-cut top, and I paired it with a smile. He came to the party with me. He smelled of laundry detergent and fresh starts; I smelled of vanilla lotion and optimism. I called him by name; he responded each time. He went to help a friend in need. He left me with my friends, then searched for me through a crowded room. The clock struck twelve.
          Laughs—Photographs—Hugs
Girls kissed boys. I kissed him. I thought to myself, “This year will bring happiness.”
I hope I am right.


Glass Tears

She wears her heart on her sleeve
And her pain like stilettos.
She makes a dress of her tears

 
 

I once knew a boy who loved making plans —
So much that he couldn’t keep up.
“I’ll pick you up at 8!”
I sat on the porch and watched cars drive by.
346 cars, and not one of them was his.
It was midnight when I went back inside,
The sleeves of my white dress
Stained with black tears.

She danced so she wouldn’t feel her hands shaking.
She kissed so she could rid her tongue of his taste.
She drank so she would forget his name.

 
 

I think we would be better off as friends.”
Take a shot every time you hear that one.
Enough boys can numb your heart.
Enough vodka can numb your mind.

She hides her pain with beauty.
Stiletto heals break.
Tears are clear.
She hides her pain with beauty.
There are cracks in her foundation.
She is transparent.

 
 

When people ask, “How are you?”
I reply, “I’m fine.”
It’s easier than saying, “I’m broken.”
What if someone asks why?

The heel breaks,
And the dress shatters
Into shards of glass
When she hits the ground.
People ask, “Are you okay?”
She replies, “I’m fine.”
No one questions it.
She picks the glass from her torn skin.


Christi Brooks is a first-year student at Boston University. Her work has never been published, but her mom says that her poems are great and claims to be her #1 fan.