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

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We walked slowly back to the bus
leaving behind small, clinging arms,
sticky kisses, the burning Batticoloa sun.
And five days spent speaking a broken mix
of language, that somehow, everyone
understood.

My hand searched the limp pocket of
my uniform.
Found, beneath the relay lists, and torn
envelopes,
wrappers of chocolates I didn't eat,
Three small marbles.

Green and pink centers set in clear glass.
Green, like the dusty grass beneath their bare feet, beneath my white shoes.
Pink, like the painted toenails of the
children.
Glass between us.
They felt round and cool against my
sweaty palm.

Glass glinted in the black oil lines of
the track,
and he saw.
Scooped up the marbles in a small
practiced fist,
squatting in the sand, examined the colored hearts of it.
And then he looked up at the sun, grinned.
And walked back to the world he knew.

The last thing I saw was a small boy in
blue shorts
walking along the fringe of nowhere.
And the blue curtain fluttered closed.

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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