Chris This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

July 12, 2014
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Humans are made of billions upon
billions of cells
But did you know ours were affixed
to one another?
Maybe it’s in the fine print of our
birth certificates
and like an atom, when our cells severed,
there was an explosion
a shell of smoke splitting open to a sorbet sun that is all the buildings and bodies
you knew were possible to burn
at once

Our love is you chewing at my waist with tired fingers
They couldn’t define this love in a textbook, but I commend them for trying
Because they can’t write you
and you’re all the good they’ll never know
You are dedicated songs, because I’m too dumb to tell you how I feel
You’re the ceiling of my heart and, baby,
it looks like the night sky – a mouth
swallowing me and all I can see inside
are the chromosomes of galaxy,
veins of white gold, tangled and elegant
like jellyfish
You built the Milky Way in my heart, but
it isn’t smooth like the name, it’s born with prickly stars and silver shine
But they’re bad at naming things,
remember?
I want to compare you to those stars,
those precious freckles of science,
but I wouldn’t know how, so I’ll
probably find another song

My legs are noodles – but that’s too cliché, so I’ll have to explain:
My legs are noodles made from the rope tendons fingering up your neck
then cooked al dente
because the water’s heat was supposed to replace your warmth
and I needed it all over me, I needed
to drown in it
so now I’m boiling in stove bubbles
and you’re saying
“maybe five more minutes”

I know “mutual” isn’t the way to define this
we are the calf dropped too early in spring
and swinging a blind loosened head in
the snow
I’m the head, searching wildly for the warmth of something familiar
and you are the wet legs, the sticky stomach
already heavy with the cold
already dying
waiting for the rest of the body to catch up
soon the calf will be a snow sculpture
and the ground will be at peace with
this new stillness

I named this poem “Chris” so I wouldn’t have to write your name
Because the “J” looks like “I miss you”
And the “o” reminds me that I will be
feeling that way for a long time
Jordan
There, I said it
But you’re still gone, and I’m still lonely
god’s laughing
do you hear him?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the February 2015 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.






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