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

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I.
I'd like to begin by asking others not
to listen
I was riding my bike like you used to
Whooshing past everything trying not to forget you
(You should've been born in the days when milkmen delivered straight to your fridge)
Everything's blurry
But that doesn't bother me
You taught me to see in different ways than my eyes
We meditated at a place you told me was enchanted
I see: an old man who sits in the winter
Sits in a graveyard by a gravestone with two names but only one death-date
Grace 1927-2005 and Charles 1924-
It's been eight years and he's still there?
I think they were the happiest, like us
I think she called him Charlie.

II.
I never got a chance to tell you
The old woman who lives next to my house
She's agoraphobic and thinks it's ridiculous
I know you'd want to know how it
happened, so:
One day she had three tomato plants to transfer in her garden
But when she tried to open the door it
was stuck
So she went and read her favorite book
With the writing sparkling like ­quicksilver
Two days later the tomato plants were still sitting there
She just didn't want to.
She opened the door and she was scared
That was May 19th, 17 years ago
It was your birthday.
14 years after was the day we met.
The day you swallowed me with your
huge eyes

III.
I started a happy jar like you told me to
On the day before you were gone ­forever
You baked me a chocolate-cherry cheesecake in the morning
You kissed me down by
the lake in my car
We were only friends
You asked me if moas
made sounds right after
You always asked me
questions like that
I loved it
On that day my happy wagon was full, 20 pebbles
I was riding on glass wings the color of
your eyes
The next day, you disappeared
They shattered.

IV.
Star.
That was your name
You wore lacy, floor-length skirts over
combat boots
You worshipped the cherry trees and the watercolor of the mountains
You told me once that the sun melted butter across the sky
You taught me to speak to the wind
How to perform a rain-dance
How to be happy.
You liked buttons and calling me
Mr. Star
You drew your mood on your arms with colored markers like a kid
You saw the ordinariness in ordinary things
I couldn't believe you were real
You felt the pain of every sprained ankle
Felt the elation of every A that anyone received
You danced when there was no music
Went to every funeral and cried
Heart thrumming with love
Your freckles danced across your nose
when you sang
You told me once: “I wish I were in love with you.”

V.
I heard a story about a fish
One day, a man found a fishbowl on his front porch
On the surface of the water was a white flower
It sank to the bottom
And then there was a flash of sunlight
(Like the happy syrup of the sun you used to love telling me about)
A small white and silver fish was born
The man loved the fish for 25 years
That's five times the five points of a star, like you
And on the final day of those five stars
The fish disappeared, poof
It was gone without a trace
That's you
Starfish

VI.
I'm tired of waiting but I can't stop
If that old man can wait, so can I
Forever
I know you aren't dead
The wind told me
Because you taught me to listen
Besides,
Even the smallest star lives for ten
trillion years
So I'll keep watching the skies

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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