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The Girl Whose Only Friend Was the Sun

Hattie Jean Hayes


We want the same thing: a place on a hill, to be seen, alight. The house is big enough that I never stand in a shadow, or speak to a man who thinks he is listening. Men always think they are listening. It is difficult enough to share this body with myself. I get my best sleep just before twilight, both of us drowsy in the promise of separation. Both of us: I wish I meant me, and me. At night I carry matches through the house to get away from you. You are looking at me, then away. I never see you turn your head. If they bring me charcoal or oil, fine, leave it with the honey and the other golden things. I slather myself in all of it, wait to crystallize into something close to solid. Nothing is ever new again, but God knows I'm trying. Golden, I've never been one for delicacy. I leave the door open and climb to the roof. Thin cracks of sun weave their way across my body, encircling my wrists and my waist. Only the sun could be so far away, and still love me so completely. You are not the only one who smells something burning.

Hattie Jean Hayes is a writer and comedian, originally from Missouri, who now lives in New York. You can find her at and @QueenHattieJean on Twitter.

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