Catching Up

by Abigail Erwin

Oh, stop it, Facebook, I don’t want to “catch up”
with the boy that I kissed in a shamefaced drunken ague, and then
pretended to ignore for a year because his mouth and his body were like
a door clanging shut, and I knew it,
because my fingers got caught in the hinge,
and with my straight neck and haywire fringe, I was
too proud to be shameless, though my finger throbbed
and the nail turned black and fell off and I thought
that it was good riddance but I still had eyes set high
on the back of my neck that blinked and stung when he passed
and I still had a voice that skipped half-octaves, or more,
in his earshot, and I flicked the dead nail away and
the new pink skin beneath with its pearly sheen
was as bruiseable as ever, as I bit my lip
and I bit my sleeve, and only coaxed words
from the rim of a bottle, and wiled away the year
until the nail grew back, thicker and uglier than before
but oh so much safer, and finally it was he, I suppose,
who had the last glimpse of me.

Not knowing if he looked, I’ve no energy for
catching up, because my muscles have atrophied, my lungs are weak
but he must be even slower, to be behind me still.

Abigail Erwin is 18 and loves strong tea, good comedy, and Flannery O’Connor.

  1. #1 by fiona campbell on January 31, 2010 - 7:00 pm

    beautiful writing, really liked this.

  2. #2 by Fiona Glass on February 1, 2010 - 2:49 pm

    Very lyrical. Wish I could have written like this at 18! ;)

  3. #3 by Georgia Varjas on February 13, 2010 - 11:26 am

    Wonderful story, great poem, such a pleasure to read a poem that is not obscure, and has something to say, not shrouded in academic arrogance, just good writing
    keep that pen movin girl!

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