We were once six, and then seven, and
then nineteen. We blink and
it’s Christmas. Already, it’s
snowing. Already, it’s too frigid
to prance outside naked. We feel
the wind bite down
on the parts of ourselves we despise
but want so badly to love
that we bear them to each other
anyway. We stare into the reflections
of us that wear a different face
but weep all the same.
One year ago, I did not know him.
Ten years ago, I knew her so well.
I ask him what song he listens to
after he argues with his father and
she tells me she likes the private sound
of her own heartbeat best,
the rain piercing her skin,
the pricking of a sewing needle,
the harvesting of a home in her ribcage.
It calls to me, then, in a quiet voice,
it happened to me, too.
I hold my ear to his chest
and take in all the worship.
Kay Mancino is a creative writing major pursuing her undergraduate degree at SUNY Purchase. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in several magazines such as Italics Mine, Sandpiper Review, and Submissions Magazine. In her spare time, she crochets and hangs out with her professor’s fifteen-year-old dog, Willa.