Aleah Vega

I’m writing this
with one of the pens
we stole that night. 

11pm on a Sunday,
we snuck off to Joan’s
      right after church.
I’d never believed in God,
but whenever the pastor
sang those sweet little songs,
you’d look over at me
and smile
that was enough for me. 

Hugo’s laughter filled the car
as you trembled in the driver’s seat.
I tore through plastic
to find three marble-patterned pens.
One for you,
        one for me,
and one to pay ransom for the secret
Hugo would so graciously keep.

“Fear not!” I told you,
for from your sins, you’d be free
once I baptized you
in this ocean of words
birthed from ink
waves crashing in a language
only our tongues could imitate.

I could’ve kissed you
right then and there,
if not for the wandering eyes
in the backseat,
watching as the Red Sea escaped
its heavenly pages and bled
     across your soft
            Brown cheeks. 

…But the pens Right,
the pens.
Two went home with you
           that night.
The other stayed close,
wrapped between my fingers.
A felt tip on paper making up
for the way my hands could’ve
no, should’ve felt your skin. 

I’d never loved writing,
Until it kept silent the words
I wanted to whisper to you,
shielding us from scorching
     apostolate eyes.
And though my heart was still stained
by the blackened tint
of unsanctioned affection,
it gave me the weapon I’d use to fight Words
and pen some of my own. 

And Clara,
I’m not sure how you’ll feel
when you read this,
but I’d never loved writing,
until it let me love you.

Aleah Vega is a second-year studying Radio/Television/Film. She loves poke, her cat, dystopian fiction, and staring at her dining hall crushes from across the room.