November Rose

Your friend cried because she was too busy to get sick,
you dropped everything and crossed the room to kiss her forehead.
I longed to catch her cold
and wished I knew how to cry.

Your taxi never came because I got the address wrong.
I hated that I made you wait in the rain,
yet was thrilled there was nowhere to stand
but under my tiny umbrella with me.

When I met you, I wanted to drop the indifferent façade
I put on around most people.
Around you, I didn’t want to lie,
I wanted to curl up at your feet.

When you said you didn’t want to put down roots here,
I dreamt I planted roses outside your window. You woke up
the way I do: smiling, because something in this town is radiant enough
to make your heart blossom.


R. P.

Picture Cupid’s bow of love, the arrows fletched with passion.
I was struck at fourteen and had a quick reaction.
My first relationship was like a fairytale:
wonderful up to the moment it turned stale.

Each night, we talked until four in the morning.
Amidst secrets and stories told, my heart melted.
We talked about music and falling for our best friends,
then she mentioned her crush on me, which piqued my interest.

Her house was cozy. I loved it despite the mold infestation.
We listened to music in her room and I picked up good vibrations.
Our bodies drew closer as if egged on by gravity—
I have that force to thank for the loss of my virginity.

We hung out each weekend if our schedules allowed,
I tagged along to parties at her grandparents’ house.
Strangers made me nervous, but soon I let down my guard.
I grew to love her family and they took me in their arms.

That May, I helped pack boxes for their move out to Cassidy.
Her new place had a nearby lake and a giant trampoline.
In the summer, we played Beyblades and her father’s prized guitar.
On bonfire nights, we roasted marshmallows in her yard.

Then one day, a fight ensued while we were playing cards.
It was a trifle of an argument, but it spiralled off the charts.
It was bound to happen that I’d wake from this dream.
After it was over, I cried myself to sleep for days.

For months after that, depression came in waves and fits.
Clouds were in my soul, and my heart was eclipsed.
Even after I recovered, it was difficult to hide
how much I missed her family and the warmth they provided.