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My last day of class is
in 11 days.
That doesn’t make you flinch.
But it makes me pace around
my room
and plot my future
like it’s some crime.

When I visited this school,
I was having a life crisis—
My boyfriend and I had
Breakup #1, and I couldn’t
care less about the fountains,
the greener than green grass,
and the beach across the street.
“Is this the one?” my mom asked.
I just nodded.

When the same professors
pass me in the hall as I sit here
on this bench,
I want to stand up,
introduce myself and say,
“Hey, I know you don’t know me,
but you see me all the time
and stare. So I thought I’d let you know,
this is my office.”
I want to see their expression.

I never questioned being
a commuter student.
But many question me.
I learned that if I say money
is the reason,
they leave me alone
quicker.

I won’t miss
the lack of parking,
or the people who serve my food
and ask why I don’t want
condiments.
But I will miss you,
dead hornet.

Collected

You are someone that I’ll miss fast,
before the door shuts.
You have always made me feel like
I have something to say.

You are the inside of a typewriter–
has to be open
for the ink to be changed.
But after,
tucked away and private–
cat-like and half loner.

Your drawers and pockets are filled
with conversation starters
and you collect abandoned hammers
on the side of the road
like they are lost people,
or pieces of yourself.

To me you are not someone who
rides a bike or writes or paints,
teaches, loves life.
The reality of you is not that
obvious.

Fingers, keys, and ink make a deal
to find meaning.
Even with all the noise and mistakes
and quirks
you never stopped.

So I will never
stop.

You forced me to love Lord of the Flies.
You had a conch shell in the back
of the classroom—top shelf.
You’d take it out whenever
it was mentioned.

You were loud.
Woke some up, pissed some off.
But it made me remember your class
six years later.
You were really loud.

I hated you
when you told me that
my short stories were
children’s stories.
Are you saying my writing
is juvenile?
I whispered to myself,
staring at the red ink.

You saw me in the hallway
after my boyfriend
told me that we should
take a break.
My best friend had her arm
around my shoulder.
You told her to
make me smile.

I didn’t get an A
in your English class.
You made me want to
try harder.
I told you I would take
your honors English class.
I don’t remember when
I started to like you.

You made me laugh
when you imitated characters
in the books we read.
You had voices
for everyone.

You talked to the giant plant
in your classroom.
You named her Penelope
and treated her like a pet.
She became family.

I was at a carnival
when my best friend
texted me
and told me that
you died.

Prom was the day before.
I was with my boyfriend.
We were going to get
cotton candy.
But I just wanted to go home.

The skin on my face
was raw
and my eyes were swollen
from sobbing.
Your heart stopped,
but so did mine.

I’m still here.

I love children’s literature.
I want to write novels
for teenagers.
I love Lord of the Flies
and To Kill a Mocking Bird
and any book
I can hear your voice in.

I love books that aren’t
written yet
that I can picture you
holding.

And I smile.

Edit My Safe Place

I saw her dad’s wake in her eyes—
She was holding his cold hand,
wanting to say more.
I am not sure which part of her
knew she was at school,
sitting next to me on the bench.
But she looked at me,
hand tucking her hair
in a safe place behind
her fully pierced ear.
The room cleared
and my mind felt like
her eyes—sheet of glass.
I chose to say
the wrong thing.

I am so sorry for your loss.
It just poured out
like sweat.
My face burned like I just ran
to her, and
she quietly accepted
my mistake.

I held her manuscript,
feeling like it gained ten pounds
since I first sat down with her.
I have some suggestions,
But you don’t have to take them.
She nodded.

There’s some grammar mistakes . . .
There’s a title change . . .
There’s some needed line breaks . . .
And there are some endings
you could shorten.
Some endings
you could change.

She nodded,
And read through
the last poem.
One about her dad.
“I just want him to know,”
she said.
She wanted to say enough.
He knows,
I told her.
You don’t need the rest of
the ending for someone
to know—

Love in Ten Lines

I’m quick to love

someone, I mean, love

someone, as though love

isn’t love, and is

25 cent bouncy-ball love.

(I love blue ones.

With swirls— I love

collecting them, love the

smell. Love bouncing them.

Straight up—Love.)

——————————————

2f6feee5f98897f94ea5ae726a6293d3

I was challenged by Kaprekar of Cryptic Dreams and Finn of Finnished With It All for the “Love in 10 Lines” challenge.

I challenge whoever wants to do this. ;) …Times ten.

Here are the rules:

1) Write about love using only 10 lines.
2) Use “love” in every line.
3) Each line can only be 4 words long.
4) Nominate 10ish others who are up for the challenge.
5) Let them know about the challenge.
6) Title the post: Love in Ten Lines
7) Include a quote about love

The pillow burns my cheek,

heat spreading up my ear,

moving through the pillow case

like a wild fire.

I flip the pillow.

Hotter.

My 101 temperature

is lying—

should be too high

to register.

I stare at the wall—

Don’t read the book

I had been waiting

to have time for.

I don’t write.

Even though I am

over due.

I don’t even let

my cat

lay on me.

I stare at the wall.

Pillow flip.

Still engulfed

in flames.

Apple juice tastes different

when I’m nauseous—

it becomes a type of

medicine.

Everything taste like

medicine.

My stomach forgets how to be

a stomach.

Left side of the pillow

is slightly

colder.

I stare at the wall. I remember

when I painted that tree

there. Took all day

to blend the colors in the back,

without looking like

wet sand at the bottom of a

zip lock bag—

Terrible smell when it sits.

Stomach feels

like a boat,

rocking.

Pillow flip.

Cat wants to play.

I whisper I’m sorry,

and she sits, opens her mouth

wide,

her little fangs exposed

as she gives a little whine.

As if to say,

“Feel better soon.”

Cuddled Up and Angry

The snow looks like tiramisu,
but you see a dirty, late Spring.
Too many plows blocking us
in and too many cancelled dates
and rain checks for nights out.
We want to
forget about who we are.
It’s too much to be alone
with ourselves.
We have to stay in
and think about what it means
to stay in.

Close enough to
smell Dorito breath of your
brother,
cuddled up and angry.
We don’t want to be home,
but when we are cold and
numb
with shovel marks
on our hands,
all we want to be is
inside.

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