by Raina K. Puels

I was new to the city & an old friend
invited me out. I anxious-smoked some weed,
covered my eyelids in glitter,
tried on 20 all-black outfits, braided my purple
hair, called an Uber, & watched cat
videos in the backseat. At the bar, I saw a cute boy
wearing blue while some dude rambled at me about the bouy-
ancy of his dad’s uncle’s best friend’s
boat—a $20,000, 24-foot Cat-
amaran with 16 sails. I told him I had to pee & weeded
through the crowd to get another g&t. I purpled
when the boy wearing blue turned his glittering
eyes on me. In the morning, our skin glittered
with sweat like it had the night before—& boy!—
was I glad I invited Poet Always Wearing Blue between my purple
sheets. We both regretted that very last french fry (end
of the night indulgence—with mayo) & decided we’d
hang soon. He walked home to feed his cats—
Gladys & Augusteen. Soon, I did that walk to him & the cats
daily, dodging broken glass & sidestepping litter.
From a crack in the sidewalk, a spindly weed
sprouted. I watched as he matured from seedling boy-
hood into a thick-stalked four-foot-tall friend
I named Fred & avoided stomping with my purple
boots. I almost tripped over Fred thinking about the purple
soul of my crush, T​attooed Poet, & his adorable cat—
Tortilla. Poet Always Wearing Blue felt out-glittered
by Tattooed Poet, so I kept quiet about my more-than-friendly
feelings even though Poet Always Wearing Blue & I could kiss other boys
if we talked about it first (we had an agreement)… but we d-
idn’t talk until my crush was as obvious as the bitterweed
between Poet Always Wearing Blue’s teeth. He didn’t purr, pull
me close, but sat across the bed & asked why I lied about the new boy:
conflict avoidance—not a good excuse. The convo cat-
apulted into hours of yelling. Guilt pter-
odactlys tore up my stomach. He didn’t want to be my boyfriend.
I didn’t deserve to call myself polyamorous or have a boyfriend,
so I booked a therapist, slathered my face in purple glitter,
smoked a pound of weed, & adopted Layla Stoner Sparkle Demon—my very own cat.

Image by Quinn Dombrowski

About the Author:

Raina K. Puels is ​a Co-Editor-in-Chief of Redivider. She leaves a trail of glitter, cat hair, and small purple objects everywhere she goes. You can read her in​​ Essay Daily, The American Literary Review, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Maudlin House, Occulum, bad pony, and many other places. See her full list of pubs:​​ Tweet her: @rainakpuels