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

   Starving runner sprinting on steep pavement

past the lawns which he saw long ago as unrealistic

But the air is pleasing burning through his despised frame in

late November

When the leaves threaten his perception of their sincerity somehow

As he eats his stomach and grips his muscles with long-promised


And vomits himself uphill because he can always do it right.

They all step softly, gently about him now and

his paper mach", stained-glass, wooden creations

never truly sure which to address

So it focuses now on the bricks cornered by the daffodils

windsock fluorescence of a breadcurb

And the warped heat on the melting gum of tar which lies

far less than the daffodils

And the promises trace his motions as his soul thought,

though it was many miles ago

And they all speak softly, in shaky respect to him now

(Though no one dares to caress him).

He knows they've seen the plastic trophies balanced on

his sunken forehead

But after pleasure has wrung his palms into tissue knots

And sifted his cracked replies into sickened shame,

They've watched him peel his own taut skin

Up the curb past the stroller with the baby missing.

He savors the pebble grinding into his heel

And the miles left to go.

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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