My thigh is pressed and sweating against the thigh of a girl

with small eyes set deep into her skull, semi-precious stones 

embedded in an unbreakable rock. The fire makes her eyes 

look as orange as her hair. She’s burning from the inside 

out. The boys are burning too. One of them must have

started the fire before I came here with my friend Shelly. 

She disappeared into the woods with a boy a while ago, but 

I don’t remember watching her go. She was absorbed into 

the air, the way embers flare and then collapse in on themselves. 

One boy slides into the empty space beside me, spits

into the heat and whispers you wanna go for a walk? I know 

go for a walk means you wanna fuck around and I don’t want

to fuck around with him or with any of the boys there, so I say 

yes. His hand is sweating in mine, and it reminds me of a dead

eel or maybe seaweed. When this boy sits down against a tree, 

I have to think before I realize I’m supposed to sit beside him. 

His tongue pokes at mine and I think about the eel again, 

but it’s alive this time and churning in my mouth. I try to do

what he does. If I keep swallowing the sour taste of his spit, 

I’m sure I’ll learn to like it the same way I learned to like beer. 

I’ve never seen the ocean, but I imagine it would be like this: 

gritty and overwhelming. I don’t know what to do with my teeth

and neither does he. I imagine them splintering like brittle shells. 

I imagine holding all the pieces of my teeth and of his teeth 

together under my tongue. I imagine my mouth is a ridged, white

oyster that only I can open, but I wouldn’t. If my mouth were 

an oyster full of teeth, I would keep it closed for a long time.

When I finally opened my oyster mouth, pearls would spill out.