2020

“The Parking Lot” – Kailah Figueroa

the parking lot

you were the first person to ever adore me.

a partnership, handcrafted from years of love.

grateful to be the first machine 

your hands had touched.

to be your second home.

dark blue,

nineteen-nineties,

grandpa’s crowbar in the trunk. 

 when you wrapped your arms around her waist,

kissed her between silver parking meters

and underneath bright red stop signs,

i learned what love should be.

and those long drives across the country-sides

were worth each busted tail light.

and long nights, parked between two white lines

when you couldn’t stop saying you loved her.

with her chipped nails,                                               

gold heart-shaped locket,

legs propped on the dash.

i would never be good enough for her.

that i knew.

but never did i believe one day

you would disappear too.

when you left, i became a beacon for bad days,

for bad boys, for wicked things.

for every iced rain, 

every dead leaf,

to soak into my seats.

to spill into my heart,

to dry all around me.

a boy with ammunition desire, 

i can no longer pretend that he and i are friends.

that we are anything more than temporary companions.

i watch him mold his “love” from nothing 

but bruised knuckles,

lit cigarettes,

and manufactured laughs.

only to wreck it when the night turns to day.

 

when his new lover sits in these seats,

i do not become accustomed to them.

no imprints will be made

i will reset my settings every day.

i do not want them to mistake my memory as his care,

as his lust for requited feelings,

as him giving her a place in his heart.

 i know how temporary his “love” will be.

i know how he lures these naive girls

with their longings for some kind of affection

pressed in the passenger seat to make them believe

that this is on the cusp of true love.

some kind of tenderness,

the potential for his endearment,

and a long-lasting partnership.

 to the boy who sits in the driver’s seat:

the next time you leave me in the heat,

turn my blue to black.

my doors unlocked

with yesterday’s “love” still lingering inside,

do not be shocked when you find me 

scratched paint,

broken glass,

with the words: “fuck you.” 

carved in my side.

 

Kailah Figueroa is on the edge of eighteen. She is a writer, editor, and an enthusiast of films, photography, coffee, and kindness.

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