I spent my late teens waking up in lava/ lamps instead of getting laid I wore latex mini skirts/ outplaying older men in Uno games/ on the weekends I was stuffing my bra/ with coleslaw at every local diner they took me to/ I drew with sweaty crayons and drank the pickle juice and then met up with the ice cream man/ after hours in the back of his truck/ I’d suck on an animal/ shaped treat with gumballs for eyes and a smile that wouldn’t stop/ dripping down my chin/ bare on the metal freezer/ he eats me out every Friday/ the same Jimmy Eat World song plays on the radio/ a kid bangs on the door for a rainbow snowcone/ I tell him this is over but it was fun/ it’s even more cliche when I say it aloud/ but he understands that I take cherry choke road to get home/ all alone I’ve got homework from therapy to do/ wine bottles to smash/ red satin bows to tie around my neck/ trying whatever I can to remember/ if this is the night I bury/ and dig up tomorrow


Sara Sturek is a Goldwater Writing Workshop Fellow at New York University, where she is pursuing an MFA in poetry. She received a B.A in Creative Writing and a B.A in Communication from the University of Southern California. Sara is also the recipient of the 2022 Gene and Etta Silverman Award. She now lives in New York City, where she is working on her first collection.