To the mean boy I thought I loved

Photo: © C. Shade. All rights reserved.

When you said fuck you, sweaty
and predictable as canned corn,
I did not recognize that you

were only a mean boy, that you
were never a friend.

When you spelled boobs on
your calculator, I could only giggle,
having none, hell, I could only
giggle. You could long divide. Your
hair was dark.

I knew you were mean, but in
that flim-flam of our shared youth—
the seating chart of the fifth grade—

and that bright radish of your

forbidden words were sugarcane
in water over ice.

I wrote your name with a marker
on a hat box of beads
and I slid it under my bed.

Jen Kindbom is the author of Cadabra (2015, Cascadia Publishing House) and the chapbook A Note on the Door (2011, Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Adroit Journal, Quailbell, Literary Mama, About Place, and other journals and anthologies. Jen is from Cleveland, and she now lives with her family in Wooster, Ohio. She is a teacher of high school English.

Appears In

Issue 9

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