Back to Issue Forty-Three

Parallel Universe of Our Romance Where We Don’t Live in the South and Only You Were from the Suburbs (because I Like Being From My Hood) Like One of Those Mid ‘00’s Rom Coms:



on a stallion or in your grandfather’s

beat up Chevy spent all summer rebuilding:
rust bucket pack mule but clean interior going 70 through
the 40
acre side streets of my hood.

Not that your parents can’t afford better. You just rather own something
made with your own hands.

Parktwo blocks down. No need for nosy mawmaws
peeping through screen doors

Pebbles tremble bedroom window because it’s daylight savings seven
because too late to be banging on doors too
loud and

mawmaw’ll curse us(or pull the shotgun) out


Sneaking into the heap of metal

hands splaying against dashboard,radio bursting

through speaker, engine revving you ask you good? I am. Then

your exhaust pipe
devours the night.

Meeting Ma would not go over well in any universe

We meet your parents.

They greet open armed. They say, Call us Mrs.
Dee or Mr. Wil. They ask, please stay for
dinner, won’t you?. They say, Have seconds.
Have more than just seconds. Do you want to
look at their baby pictures? We laugh. You still
haven’t grown into your Dumbo ears.


I say, I will. I say, Thanks for having me Mr and Mrs— I mean Ted and Pam. I say, next time…

& the only slammed doortonight
is the passenger’s side of your metal contraption.

& the only screamstonight,
is your mom’s DRIVE SAFE,

or your name

on my lips

from your backseat.

And then?
We montage!
We prom.
We tight body and sweat.
We forever? Forever.
We college and separations.
We teardrops and promises.

We discovery and reconvene and


We job.
We house.
kids? We kids.
We nuclear family in the suburbs.
We hate Mondays. We PTA meetings
Thursdays. We football games Saturdays. We your
parents Thanksgiving. We wine drunk at noon in the
smoky mountains the winters. We better thread count
california king bed sheets spring. We student loan
debt and mortgage and college funds and
vacation pay. We neighborhood watch. We grow. We
get old. And still we have so much to grow

We live the lives
never promised to us.

There’s a scene
so quick you would miss it.

It’s in the rain, of course,
I’ve slammed your chevy door,

for what I think will be the last time.
The exhaust pipe chokes the night

air and I can’t breathe cause asthma and crying
and anyways there’s this moment where I tell

you something. I say, in another world there would be no end
to us. full melodrama and teen angst.

And did you see it? The other universe fracturing. Darling,
there will always be a need for another world

for people like us. I could craft you fifteen lifetimes,
and each one could leaf back to us.

could lead back to two silhouettes of dark
brown flesh against the moon. And there

will always be a night devouring us.


kalivyn.marquix is a psalmist/performer/creative alchemist with roots in the Mississippi Delta. They write, sing, and perform to find the worlds where they and theirs are free. kalivyn’s work can be found in the ASAP/Journal, The Delta Journal, and South: A Scholarly Journal. Currently they are recovering from graduating from university while working on their first full-length choreopoem. To keep up with their happenings or chat, feel free to follow them on Twitter @kalivynmx.

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