10.2 / March & April 2015

My Early Thirties

My stalker had one blue eye and one green. Before he became my stalker, he was my lover and I wanted him before he wanted me. During our first date, he kept his distance and I leaned toward his tall strength, his blond silkiness. He tantalized me and set me spinning.

I was the first to propose sex. I bought new lingerie for him, although I was poor. The first time we had sex shattered me and I wanted more. Before he became my stalker, he was my thoughts, my plans, my shamelessness. I lived off-balance, danced to tunes in his head, scrambled to keep up.

Before we became lovers, I’d lived a limp, nothing much year, a year of choosing bare minimums, of balking in doorways. Before he owned me for that time when he did own me, I’d been hunkered down, punch drunk from a too fast pace, stumbling like a woman with a broken heel, nauseated by over-consumption. And I’d become, I must have become, witless.

This is that story. The violent story. After he hit me and hit me a second and third time and I got away, and I went back, and I got away again, and stayed away the second time, he became my stalker, kept me reeling, off-balance, unable to grip supports. He’d shock me when I turned a corner, or be there leaning on my car when I came out of a store, still so compelling, still so tall and blond. I shook, enthralled still. Now, I thought, certainly, he wanted me. But he was sick. And cruel. I ran further away and the insanity stopped. After it all finally stopped, I was stunned by my participation.

My stalker had one blue eye and one green and before he became my stalker he was my lover, and before he became my lover, I’d spent a year with nothing much, a being barely there, but after I stomped on him and his shadows, I got my footing and could tell the story because I’d stopped participating through this long time and this long distance.

Nonnie Augustine’s first collection of poems, "One Day Tells its Tale to Another" was chosen by Kirkus Review as one of the "Best of Indie 2013." She won the 16th Glass Woman Prize in 2014. Ms. Augustine has a B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School.
10.2 / March & April 2015