I hate Brooklyn.

by Rogan Kelly

We were walking in Gravesend and you told me a story of when we weren’t together. Like we aren’t now. And you were lonely and intoxicated and it was this bar, as you opened the door and made me walk in and view the front room where you made a scene. And what was implied was that you took someone home or went home with someone. You were marking the moment and the place to signify we were lost then and now safe and found again. It was both confession and designed to hurt, I suspect. To make me jealous, to be both repulsed and to want. And I wanted you then as I still do now. But mostly I remember how moments later, just a block or so after, you pulled me into a German bakery with warm doughnuts. We sat in that front window with a shared pastry. And in all my quiet, I was briefly happy. There was no fear of being hurt. There was no doubt of love. It coursed through us as sure as the cars that drove down the drag and pulsed from my fingers interlocked with yours beneath the storefront window counter. Unwilling to let go of one another, the only way we could work the sugary confection was to both pull apart with the other hand at once.

Rogan Kelly is the author of Demolition in the Tropics (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Heavy Feather ReviewNew Orleans ReviewThe Penn ReviewPidgeonholesPlumeRHINO, and elsewhere. He is the editor of The Night Heron Barks and Ran Off With the Star Bassoon, and does web design and build for RUBY literary magazine and press.


Photography by: Franky Van Bever