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Nine months and all the seconds This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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If I ever have a baby
I'll paint his room the color of napkins.
I will find the paint
that carries the tones of mistakes,
of spilling water on the kitchen counter
and cleaning it with thousands of those
paper squares.
I will find the paint
that bounces off the light of bake sales
and using napkins rather than plates
for their simplicity.
I will dip a big brush in a bucket
that holds the memories I have of riding in the car
every morning to school
and eating a small breakfast
that my mom kindly put in that white and soft paper.
I will find this color
and I'll surround my baby with it.
I know my husband will think I'm crazy
when we go to paint stores and I ask for napkin
and they bring me white or beige
and I turn all of them down.
He'll think I'm crazy,
but I don't expect he'll understand,
I don't expect he'll understand my Christmas dinners
and how my cousin and I passed notes
around the family table on those napkins
so we could still talk while my grandparents
gave their Christmas speech.
I don't think he'll understand the summer I worked at
an orphanage and how when I realized there
wasn't toilet paper for my kids to go the bathroom
I stole napkins from several restaurants
to bring to them every morning.
I don't think he'll understand.
And when my baby grows up
and asks me to redecorate his room
I won't refuse.
I will simply paint over the napkin layers
and I'll make sure he knows all that lies
just a peel away.

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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