What Ever Happened To Baby Jen?

To baby jen_


Cherry Coke
She’s A Sensitive Girl
Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.
Jennifer, Isn’t That A Beautiful Doll?
A Letter To Daddy
Late Night Interlude
Charlie
21st Century Boy Toy
What Ever Happened To Baby Jen?


Download The Audio Version Of This Collection Here


Cherry Coke

A whole can of cherry coke,
ran down my throat,
as I tried to recapture the taste,
of our Friday night cinema trips,
where your hand was in mine,
and also in my popcorn,
and we were alone at last,
watching a world where we were possible.

In the dark,
on sticky floors,
we have longed for each other,
in a little loft,
in Baltimore,
with a sea monster sized secret.
Who can forget that time we went to space?
I kissed the tip of your nose,
as it crinkled at the sight of alien afterbirth,
and when we were almost caught,
sharing a cell with “Woke Latin Legend”, Paddington Brown,
you held me close as the lights went out,
lighting the whole of London,
with the oceans you call eyes.

I drink my cherry coke,
but it doesn’t taste the same,
now that we’re out in this world,
apart.
The tattoo on your arm,
clear as day,
in the daylight,
belongs to someone else,
and I,
unmarked,
but unavailable to anyone but you,
must wait,
for Friday night,
when my heart will race,
and my cherry coke will taste like we are possible,
once again.

-x-

She’s A Sensitive Girl

She’s got lightning in her hair,
I swear,
I got a shock,
one night,
tucking her in,
after our weekly wine and whine night.

I stroked the lightning,
leaking from her head,
she pulled me down,
and I became her teddy bear.

My eyes were flickering all night,
lightning tickling my neck,
clouded kisses when she thought I’d fallen asleep.

I was shocked,
still,
a timid teddy bear,
hoping we would wake up,
as more than friends.

She’s a sensitive girl,
when the lights are low,
and nobody can see,
that she loves me back.

-x-

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy

Being with her was like my first time in a bar.
I knew I could be there.
I knew I should be there.
My soul screeched at the thought of leaving,
yet I checked my ID,
and my guilt,
and questioned myself a million times.

I felt young,
in the bar,
in her arms,
like I hadn’t been alive,
and was delivered to the planet,
just that second.
Everyone around me seemed to know what to do.
I felt young,
I felt her,
soft,
significant.
She was like strawberry laces,
sweet,
wrapped all over me,
I forgot my name,
and said hers instead.
Over and over.

I wasn’t even sure I was alive,
anymore,
or if I was hanging in heaven,
kneeling for Nirvana.
I looked up,
to her light laughter,
breathless,
as she bent down,
to kiss my glossy lips,
and hold me,
in her arms,
back at the bar,
as I got drunk on her.

-x-

Jennifer, Isn’t That A Beautiful Doll?

Why do I adore the sweet sand,
adorning the beach,
but curse the soft dunes,
of my darker landscape?
I wanted white.
Pale,
like the ice cream,
I watch others enjoy,
as they top up their tan.
Mine is free,
from the sunbed in my mother’s uterus,
and will last a lifetime,
so,
why can’t I love it,
like those who pay for it,
those who burn for it,
those who slather it over themselves,
while I can simply exist?

Jennifer, isn’t that a beautiful doll?

Why can I see beauty in Barbra,
in Ella,
in Gloria,
but insist on highlighting and shading my mother,
my father,
the days I’ve never seen,
the people I’ll only know from photographs,
until they are gone,
and I am a cheap imitation of everybody else,
a stranger in my own skin?
Why can’t I accept the face,
that faces me,
in the mirror,
and love her,
the way I wished others did?

Jennifer, isn’t that a beautiful doll?

I am a beautiful doll.
Freckles,
brown skin,
tight curls,
broken nose,
broken heart.
I am a beautiful doll.
Pick me up,
play with me,
move my arms,
and legs,
towards accepting myself.

Jennifer, isn’t that a beautiful doll?
Yes,
YES.
she is.

-x-

A Letter To Daddy

She writes…
You live in the stars,
not my boyfriends,
like everyone says,
like they know me.
You knew me.
You know me.
If we were right about God,
and you’re still somewhere,
telling me to dress up nice,
and keep my elbows off the table when I’ve got company,
then you’ll know that he’s not you,
and nobody could be,
and nobody needs to be.
I just need to miss you,
in peace,
with nobody assuming that it links to something else,
or someone else.
I’ve never known another you,
by heart,
although some have shared your name,
but I swear,
it’s not the same,
because none of them looked at me,
and saw all the girls I’ve ever been,
all at once,
like a flipbook.
The ink is still drying,
but I think I’m going to be okay.

-x-

Late Night Interlude

You tell me love is grand,
acting grand,
by your grand piano,
and I sing along,
to each song that you play,
along each inch of my body,
when we’re alone.

The night is old,
barely breathing,
as morning crawls closer.
You play on,
I sing along,
we play cotton covered chords,
under the stars.

Ven conmigo,
mi amor.
Beso.
Beso.
Beso.

I’m so awake.
It’s all over.
It always was.
I always was,
for you,
for you.
Beso.
Beso.
Beso.
What’s a girl to do?
Lost,
in the beat,
of your boudoir bars,
singing along,
to your late night interlude.

-x-

Charlie

Charlie.
I need you.

You’re so into me,
under my skin,
so deep,
that I forget how to love you.

I just want you.
I tear myself apart,
when we’re apart.
Cut to ribbons,
wrecked,
when you arrive.
I am thrown to the thrill,
of craving,
chasing,
choosing you,
every single time.

Please choose me too.

Fuck everyone else.
I need you.
I’ve said it’s over,
every day,
since we met,
but you’ve never left my head,
even when I can’t feel you in my arms.
I’ve been tracing where you’ve been on my body,
wishing I could will you in.

I am crying.
I am sick.
I am yours.
I am yours.
There’s no room left in me,
for anything but you,
and I feel so claustrophobic.

I itch.
I scream.
I sob for you.
It’s too late,
for me to leave,
or love,
the way I remember that I did,
before you.

I adore you,
but I don’t love you.
I don’t even like you,
when I hide from daylight,
dressed in the pain of knowing you are gone.
Dressed in the shame of knowing you were here in the first place.

Again.
Again.
I am choosing you.
Please choose me too.
Let me go.
Let me go.

Charlie.
I need you.

-x-

21st Century Boy Toy

I’m going to the fair,
today.
Shy girl,
at the coconut shy,
playing to win,
on a rigged game.

Do you want to play with me?
I promise,
I’ll let you win a prize,
if you follow the rules.

Let’s be lonely,
and in like with each other,
pretending we don’t feel a thing,
while we’re wearing our clothes.
Let’s not talk,
don’t ask me what my dreams are,
or what I had for breakfast.
Don’t get excited to see me.
Don’t tell me you miss me.
In fact, don’t talk to me,
at all.
Completely ignore me,
for a bit,
then send me a weekly update on your penis.
Let’s just send pixels to each other,
to prove our like,
emojis,
not emotions.
Let’s not mean a thing to one another,
or whatever the cool kids are doing these days.

That’s how we play.
I always lose,
because I play to win,
in a rigged game.
I’ve been following the rules,
of every boy who comes to play,
but they aren’t giving out prizes,
they just take them.

-x-

What Ever Happened To Baby Jen?

The world is cruel,
I feel crueller with every day that goes by.
Mean Queen,
with a pack of smokes,
and a voice inside my head,
that sounds like mine,
before the smoking,
and the heartache.
I tell her to shut up.

I miss waking up,
watching the sun embrace my silk sheets,
thinking about all the ways I can change the world,
all the ways I can make someone smile today,
all the ways I’m going to do my best to be my best,
or whatever the hell I thought back then.
Patching up my heart,
with lace lessons,
saying I’d be careful with myself,
to nobody in particular.
Now I wake up,
I scream at the sun,
for reminding me that I’m still here.

Another day,
my heart is bursting at its patchwork seams,
begging for who I was,
before I lived and lost her.
When I was young,
and dumb,
but gleaming with expectations,
that are no match for experience.

I know that everyone who broke my heart,
in whatever way they did it,
started out the same,
we all thought it would be different,
that WE were different.
I’m not different.
I’m not special.
I’m decorated doubt,
with a bad habit of devotion,
without learning any lessons.

She cries out.
Little girl kicked in the heart,
kicked in my head,
locked in my head,
my pen,
and in my heart,
whatever is left of it.
She wanders the wreckage,
telling me it’s not too late,
and I tell her,
that she’s young,
and dumb,
and full of expectations,
that I can’t meet.
What Ever happened to Baby Jen?
Baby Jen lived,
and that’s how she died.
Life gets you in the end,
you see.


© Jennifer Juan 2018


 

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