This is a letter poem, written for class last fall. As the title suggests, it is about an adolescent rival. Picture any pre-teen “frenemy” combo, and you’ve pretty much got us. We had our differences, but this person made a huge impact on my life. Seven years ago (give or take a few weeks), she introduced me to my favorite band, My Chemical Romance, which is still one of the most inspiring entities in my life. And for that, I will always be grateful to her.
—For three years, we inspected each other under the fluorescent lights of the middle-school hallway. You laughed at my bushy eyebrows and mustard yellow highlights. I gawked at your beak, snaggletooth, and five-finger forehead. We were two sharks in a small tank — circling each other like the predators we had taught ourselves to be. I didn’t always hate you. Once, we spent the summer by the lake, cherry popsicles dripping down our chins. I watched your stained lips, as you mouthed the words to our July song. And to this day, I remember every syllable.