childhood

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Adolescent Rival

Published Saturday, July 7, 2012 by Chasing Neptune

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.
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