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the year i fell in love, i remembered the desert - arushi (aera) rege



the year i fell in love, i forgot what it meant to love a boy with a fast car & a penchant to go nowhere; the year i fell in love, i caught myself with handfuls of prozac near my mouth, as if i’d wanted to swallow them all; the year i fell in love, i remembered what it meant to live in the desert / glassy skies covered under luminescent sundowns; the year i fell in love, dark green cacti took seventy-plus years to wave at me, screaming GOODBYE GOODBYE DON'T COME BACK; the year i fell in love, i forgot to believe in a god i learnt to grow up with; the year i fell in love, i peeled tangerines for the boy i fell in love with; the year i fell in love, i watched the sunset go down & begged him to stay & told him stories of blood orange skies & amber honey thoughts & the soft pink of his mouth against the red wine of mine; the year i fell in love, soft touches meant heavy hearts meant love under mistletoe meant finals week meant / soft whispered “i love you”s under the moonlight or the gazebo or the intersection behind the crosswalk or near the school library; the year i fell in love, i forgot that i took zoloft; the year i fell in love, i learnt i was gilded lily & another smith’s song & a broken collarbone & a heart-shaped hickey & love & desire & / we spit those words out with wanting in our hearts and love in our touches; the year i fell in love, i held hands with a boy i kissed a boy i peeled him an orange i memorized his starbucks order i read murakami because it was his favorite i fell in love; the year i fell in love, i forgot love in the desert was scorching days & scorching nights & evergreens dusted with specs of rain that never became snow & our precious valley turned bloom & the dust storm season continued; the year i fell in love, i remembered that love was soft touches & a body moved skillfully around my body, like years of memorization & hands i had remembered every line of & a fast car & a penchant to go somewhere everywhere nowhere




arushi (aera) rege is a queer, chronically in pain, Indian-American poet who simultaneously attends junior year in high school. They tweet occasionally @academic_core and face the perils of instagram @aeranem_26. Their works have been published in Gastropoda Lit, Full House Literary Magazine, fifth wheel press, and more. Their debut chapbook, BROWN GIRL EPIPHANY, is forthcoming with fifth wheel press. You can find their website at arushiaerarege.carrd.co.

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