"Starships" in the Basement

Erica Abbott

The hot song that summer the world is supposed to end is “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. At

the high school graduation party in my parents’ basement, smelling of sun tan lotion and

notes of something resembling hopefulness, my friends and I laugh as it plays on the

radio every few hours. Every few lines are censored and we wonder why that has to be,

but still, we sing along: Starships were meant to fly, hands up and touch the... and, my

god, we’re touching the sky! Hands recklessly swinging in the air, reaching for whatever

lies beyond those drop ceiling tiles. On the long ride to the beach later that season, we

sing it until our voices give out. After all, the world is supposed to end later that year.

Let’s do this one last time. Even now, I can feel the air filling the spaces between my

fingers as the memories slip right on through.

Erica Abbott (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based poet and writer whose work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Serotonin, FERAL, Gnashing Teeth, Selcouth Station, Anti-Heroin Chic, and other journals. She is the author of Self-Portrait as a Sinking Ship (Toho, 2020), her debut poetry chapbook. She volunteers for Button Poetry and Mad Poets Society. Follow her on Instagram @poetry_erica and on Twitter @erica_abbott.