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About You, But Not For You
It’s 3:38 and the bell rings
releasing me into the jungle
of downtown Pittsburgh’s mess.
Kids from everywhere congregate
on corners inhaling cigarettes,
waiting for buses and meeting
friends from rival schools.
I think of you as I stand with
the cold wind brushing my legs,
my CAPA pants rolled up to my
knees. If you were here, you’d keep
Tall buildings loom
up over small ones, keeping shadows
over most of the streets. The sun does
little to warm us. Shannon laughs in my
ear as she recites lines from Chicken Little,
our favorite movie: Four views in twenty-four hours,
an accomplishment made by the two of us over
The bus comes, spraying slush up onto the sidewalk,
we climb in through the back doors
scrambling to find a seat. I sit next to
Shannon, our laughter carrying over
from our outside conversation.
The bus driver looks in her mirror
yelling to the back,
“Put the food away before I pull this bus over!”
Shannon and I sneak our chips, sipping our drinks
behind Jesse and Jeremy.
We laugh with them, their jokes
and party anecdotes spilling like
coffee from their lips. I smile
blushing, they’re cute but not like you.
There is a pause in conversation and I
get a chance to look out the window.
The sidewalks are littered with snow,
black slush covering the streets.
The trees are bare. Pittsburgh is ugly
in winter even though you refute
The bus pulls into Morningside,
and I pull the yellow bell rope
staggering my way up to front,
waving goodbye to
Shannon, Jesse, and Jeremy.
You would be jealous if you saw me
blush the way I do for them when
they wave back. I show the bus driver my
pass, say “Thank You.” and jump
down onto the street, scrambling to
reach the sidewalk before the bus starts
pulling away. I walk down about four
houses and look up at my three-
story brick house looming over me.
I push the white gate that you
constantly bang shut back and
trek carefully to the steps, afraid
of the ice that might be
hiding under the snow; our
footsteps frozen from the morning.
I knock on the door, it’s Monday,
dad’s at work. I pull out my keys on
my GO ARMY key chain, my
Kiss Me I’m Irish key chain, and my
‘Stop Starring, They Don’t Talk’ key chain.
I pick the Trib PM up off
of the cold porch, unlocking the door
unleashing the warmth upon me,
and carry it inside with me,
peeling away the plastic. I flip
to my horoscope hoping
it will resemble something having
to do with you. It doesn’t and I toss
it on the side of the couch so
dad can read it when he comes home.
I pick the remote control up
turning on What I Like About You.
I retreat into the kitchen looking
for some type of fuel until
dinner comes along; something
to keep me going to accomplish my
unwanted homework. I pop something
in the microwave and go back to the
couch, waiting for it to get done.
Your smile lingers in my mind,
your laughter replaying over and over
in my ears. I smile.
The microwave bell dings.
One last thought before I let you go:
I love you, I’m sure of it.