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cherry kisses This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Riverside, RI
in the glare of the fluorescent lights of the
church basement-
i told you this is
where i am from;
where you are from.

now it’s where quick words fall and
short hugs feel awkward and meaningless;
maybe not even real-
i almost avoided jesus till i
knew for the first time that you
broke away but
i never did.

it seems a little strange that you
aren’t the way you used to be,
nothing at all; and
even stranger still that
you are not a part of my life but
i don’t have much time to think when
i’m not alone, and i try
but drowned out by the din of voices blending and
portuguese music mixed with crumpling paper and
malassada baking hot
slices apart the silence between
us.

i yearn to ask if you miss me,
because in my most honest thoughts i confess
i’m a part of this
portuguese culture and
church and food and perfection,
family and friends and
loudness-
but more than anything,
i’m a part of you.

i leave you but i don’t want to,
maybe i miss you or
at least you being there;
maybe your green eyes or your hands or your smile or your
cherry kisses dissolving against my skin and
falling away…





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