“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
Who could forget the album cover to The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)? A close up of what I can only assume is Robert Smith’s red delicious mouth. Even as a child, I was strangely attracted to Smith’s oversized thrift-store cardigans & sneakers with their unruly laces juxtaposed against his floral blouses, black eyeliner, & that slippery mouth of cherry lacquer, a slide I would go down all my life—the interrogation of gender performance & sexuality. When keyboardist Lol Tolhurst’s angelic Solina & Porl Thompson’s descending riff entered the song, my instinct was to smear Revlon all over my mouth, pale my face with baby powder, all in lieu of hanging out with the Mexican girls at school who couldn’t quite figure out what I was or why my Spanish was so bad.
Iliana Rocha is originally from Texas, and she earned her PhD in English-Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from Arizona State University, where she was Poetry Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her work was chosen for the Best New Poets 2014 anthology and has previously appeared in Bennington Review, Banango Street, Blackbird, and Third Coast. Her first book, Karankawa, won the 2014 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and is published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
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