I remember the way his breath smelled after he ate raw peppers —
not sweet, but not unpleasant, either —
sort of like summer humidity.
I remember the heat of her hair after I curled it,
and curled it again,
and tried to burn her limp locks into submission.
I remember how you always noticed when I changed my hair,
and it made me feel beautiful
even though you didn’t mean it that way.
I remember her stupid lips and nose,
like she was always smelling something unpleasant.
I remember thinking that he could make the leap for me
while at the same time knowing
that he’d never fall for anyone but himself.
I remember looking into her green eyes when we first met
and knowing that I’d either hate her or fall in love with her
(it was the latter).
I remember the buzz in my brain from that glass of liquid courage
when I brazenly told them
I was good enough.
And I remember her last breath, the way I thought she was
returning the favor by sharing
one last “Once Upon a Dream.”