Adolescence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


At 12 o' clock, Michael's Gin Joint was hot 'cause we wereso cool,
leaning against lampposts with our Marlboro Lights and open-mouthlaughter.
I inhaled to get it all out, pressure to rise above, to float,
but just laughed, coughed, and asked for another.

My father oncepulled me aside,
From work or play, one and the same, and extolled his wisdomon life.
"Jenna-bird, don't waste your time making babies.
You'llonly get what you ask for in life, so get going."

I knocked back theclear bitter calm. The glass hurt my lip but
he kept smacking my back, so Ihad another and another, god,
I could have swum in thattabletop.

Taking pleasure in drives to nowhere and here, I often resentedthe death of an engine,
when imagination fell into reality and no longer heldme high,
when I realized the present was all that was mine rightnow.

At fifth and two I unfocused my pride, wide-open,
drank it all in,from my ears to my eyes, his breath against my temple.
We no longer laughed inthe open air, but held back our fruitful conversations
in smoke-drenchedbooths, certain we spoke the native tongue, selfish in ourpleasure.

Coughing less, asking for more, we fed upon rebellion,
living young and free, adopting the bastardly present and giving it a badname.
We were righteous mortals.






This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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