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..:: CONTENTS ::..
   Volume VI, Issue I

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..
..:: OTHER ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
   Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I
   Volume V, Issue II


frou frou
C.W. Mote


Dear Melissa Noelle Halloran: Forgive me. Your photo appeared in the middle school yearbook by mistake and they printed your full name below. I have pilfered that freak occurrence for my own keeping, turned that token of your personhood into a ducat with your emblazoned image, head to toe. We'll call it compensation for the damage I sustained in the eighth grade, when I learned the butterscotch-honey lollipop I received on Secret Admirer Day was a gift from you. 
          Until that moment, when you flashed your precious pearls at me, I felt clueless, a guppy caught in an iceberg, pelted by a torrent of vanilla-blueberry and lemon-and-marmalade swirls, practical jokes from the same bullies who would poke wet fingers in my ears while I sat on the sidelines during recess. Until freedom. When you smiled, I painted that lollipop onto my molars and swore I would never brush them until you licked them away. 
          You never wore your hair in curls until that day, for your first Celtic dance recital, but in my head you are forever permed and pretty. Your family couldn't afford the emerald dress the other girls wore, or else forgot to bring it, so you danced the jig in a white blouse and knee-length charcoal skirt. I clothed you like a princess over those rags as you took right leg in step to the heavens with that intimate rustle and wove a place in my soul. I didn't know then that my decorated molars would become permanent, that my parents would force me to get fillings before they rotted away, until it turned out that your first recital would be your last, and your desk would be stark empty the day before Mr. Malloy the gym teacher quit, or else was fired, after the discovery of the packet of mint-flavored condoms unfolding like a photo album from his desk drawer. 
          Some day I am sure I will hock my fillings for a ticket to find you and then you will see my scars. A fair exchange. How would our pact read? We wouldn't be worrying about some mint balloon you were forced to blow up, and you could forget the gown I stole from my mother's closet and slipped on so I could feel that silk beneath me as if I were you, dancing with flaxen underwear flapping about, knowing that we had cheated on each other and were once again even. We would have both sides of the coin, and it would be yours again for the flipping.


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