Emergency Call Waiting, et al

Emergency Call Waiting

We met at a diner
maids always ate the hospitality
you pushed off pillows
I wondered about the way you
watched the hem of skirts and
the way that you paused between sips
holding time in your mouth and
why your hands always smelled red?

Insert Two Quarters (Designated Slots)

Time began to burn holes thru their shoes
Inside the supermarket, Aisle One –Two
On sale were movies, directed by John Hughes
On the shelf which sold paper, scissors, and glue

He said he didn’t believe in Hallmark
Love is not all corporate notions
Perhaps it is a tunnel, leading only to dark
Their hands lace, Americano broken

Back in the cul-de-sac, he teased her hair
And the way her perfume lingers on pillows
She had a rose-tinted mind, not one care
Bending each other apart, limbs like willows

Only hearing Etta James sing the blues
They spent their love on fifty cent tattoos

Child of a Gen. X Pilgrim

Red entered
to pay respect to ghosts of the floorboards
and witches in the rafters
we, the soldiers of dawn rested
on a bed of seventeen summers
the house sighed

Who am I in the presence of the ocean?
drip of flesh or
amphibian being
we think to the ebb of tide
sea bites the blood
bleach scars the nape
Rebels of Obscura

Tess Wagman, Age 17, Grade 11, Packer Collegiate Institute, Honorable Mention

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