let me tuck my hands over yours
and show you how it feels to stop(keep) breathing, which is:
(think of all the things you’ve lost and won’t find again. and
i don’t mean love or people, i mean
cold-skinned objects: erasers from first grade
and your blue socks and a striped umbrella
and the mint lip balm that was somehow better than the others
and oranges that went bad before you could eat them.)
(think of how the clouds won’t ever look the same again
and how your body is scrapped and reborn instantaneously
until you are not the person you were three weeks ago.)
(and think of this fragile moment, which we will let slip
through listless fingers like tissues after crying.)
——exhale and i take my hands away and fold them
in too-small coat pockets like receipts for soap and ordinary things.
and it will be like we didn’t touch at all.
Allison Stein is a seventeen-year-old student living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Anthology, Doghouse Press, and Parallax Literary Magazine, among others. Her poetry has also received national recognition from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. When she is not writing, she enjoys making collage art and spending time in parks.