Prospective Final Girl Sits at the Gas Station
and palms sunrise until it melts like hard candy,
sugar lacing her wrist as Coke flattens in the can.
Here, highway racing before her, she is teaching herself
patience. Restraint. Practice: dig heels into gravel,
sip without the swallow, slide the ozoned cut of summer’s
storm across the tongue without tasting its sweet.
Outside 7-Eleven she fallows her skin of want, crumples
the can until her knuckles open like chapped mouths—
teeth sharp with neglect—declines each offer for a ride
because when bodies meet highway they make roadkill,
smeared into skid mark, ribs split to the sky, rotting under blood-
spattered billboards advertising the next best horror
film. And if this was a film, she could press rewind
as bone marrow peels itself from tar and dirt, each organ sliding
home. If this was a film, she’d be fighting for the role of final
girl: count down seconds in the corner of the screen
as the killer nears, calculate how long it takes to prowl
a hallway, to slash a blade. She is fighting for the role of final
girl and she has studied all the tropes, knows to survive
she has to be pure, clean, empty of everything but gasp
and gape, so she pours her Coke onto asphalt, refuses to die
in a space defined by destinations on either side. The sun
splinters white against the sky and she kneels at each vending
machine, each rusted pump, watching its reflection as it fades.
About Stella Lei
Stella Lei is a teen writer from Pennsylvania whose work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Okay Donkey Magazine, trampset, and elsewhere. She is an Editor in Chief for The Augment Review, she has two cats, and she tweets @stellalei04. You can find more of her work at stellaleiwrites.weebly.com.