THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 259


On my way back
from guidance,
I collided
with my ex-crush.
I thought he did it on purpose.
Putting his hands on my shoulders,
he caught me before I went spinning
down the hall like a pinball.
“Hey,” he said.
“Did you break up with him?”
“I’m not going to,” I said.
I threw away every single
formerly precious
memento of you.
I am trying to convince myself
that you no longer exist,
so please go away.

But those fancy words
didn’t make it out of my mouth.
I left him
standing there
with his mouth open.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 258

What’s Best

I hugged Liz,
and she started to cry
so hard people stared.
“I’m so dumb!” she wailed.
“I should be smart
like you.”
Her voice became
an almost theatrical whisper.
“I can’t abort it.
I just can’t.
It’s my kid.
No matter what anyone says,
it’s my kid.
I know I never wanted it,
but now it’s mine.”
I did the only thing
I could do,
and walked her
to the guidance office,
sat with her,
and tried to get her
to calm down enough
to talk to someone
who might know best
even though they might not
fully understand.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 257

Our Origins

When Liz approached me
and said she thought
she had contracted
the plague,
I didn’t believe her.
The plague seemed like something
that could happen to anyone
except the people I knew.
Liz’s hand clenched her belly
as if she wished she could
rip out her mistake.
Her usually exuberant manner
was subdued, and she spoke
in a whisper.
“What should I do?
Timothy won’t want a kid.
I never wanted a kid.
My parents don’t want to be
I tried to imagine the plague
inside Liz
becoming a person.
It is hard to believe
we all came from the plague.

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