Poetry & Prose

The Way I Want It

By Sadie Lansdale



Let’s do it all backwards. Let’s get the raging and the screaming and the yelling out now, while we’re still young. We can rip and bite and scratch and fight and after, we’ll resent each other for months, but less and less until those things I absolutely cannot stand about you fade into small flaws and eventually, they charm me.

I want this backwards with you.
We’ll have breakfast and then sex and we’ll stay up all night talking first about love and death and truth and then about the Celtics’ game, or our parents’ jobs.
In the beginning we’ll lie panting and then we’ll moan and tumble and touch
and you’ll kiss me urgently at first until it
melts to sweet, and soft, and slow.

Each step we take together feels less familiar—
you’ll touch my hand across the table
when I laugh; I’ll smile bright and open
until my face slowly closes, and your eyes lower.

And I’ll meet you in class or in the café or on a bus
and I’ll look at you with my head tilted and my hair will fall in my face
like you think you’ve seen so many times before and I’ll hold
out my hand and say, “Hi.
I’m Sadie.”

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