Library Receipt

It’s fitting that he wouldn’t enjoy romance.
Most guys don’t.
Actually, I could never picture him
staring at those covers—
the heroine bent against the arm of the hero,
her mouth open in awe at his cascade of flowing hair,
her hands scrabbling for purchase on his slick muscles…
I can’t see him reading those things at all.
I fold up his receipt of epic fantasy novels,
and slip it into my pocket
to bring home to my folder.
Maybe one day, I’ll read one of the books,
so we can have something
to talk about.

Return to Chapter 5


The Boy

He is not conventionally good looking,
except for those blue eyes.
He wears sandals every day,
button-down, collared shirts.
His hair is a mass of black curls.
He might be Spanish, Lebanese, Portuguese,
but his last name is generic.
I might want his last name
one day, so I practice
scribbling it rapidly,
as if I am signing checks
from our future joint account.
Something slipped from
his pocket one day.
I caught it but didn’t
tell him that he dropped it.
It was a receipt
from the library. He’d checked out
eleven 800-page fantasy novels
but not a single romance.

Return to Chapter 4 | Read Chapter 6


Pennies Down the Hall

I walked down B-hall,
the one that’s always spiced
with pennies.
Upperclassmen fling them,
trying to catch freshmen off guard.
Every time I see them,
those shining, round,
one-cent moments,
they make me turn my head.
When I think no one’s looking,
I stoop to pick up a few,
they’ll bring me good luck
with him.
I check the years when
they were minted,
looking for his year,
1988, and make sure
it still shines.
I’ll keep the pennies in my pocket,
let them go through
the washing machine,
and try to bring out that shine
the way he shines.

Return to Chapter 3 | Read Chapter 5