Kay Mancino


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.