The first boy I kiss doesn’t write.
He doesn’t understand why my bedroom walls
tell stories that are sixteen years too long.
He does not write novels
on my spine with his fingertips.
The next boy I kiss calls himself a fan of mine,
and I find him flipping through the notebooks
in my childhood bedroom, reading the words
that I throw at strangers
but am too afraid to say out loud.
My stories are bigger than me,
and I fear that if I let them out
I will become nothing but a hollow girl
with ink beneath her fingernails.
The next boy I kiss tastes like
typewriter ribbons and
yesterday morning’s coffee.
You’re a writer, I say,
I’d know those shaking hands
and tired eyes anywhere.
We spent the night writing
sonnets with our tongues,
but when I read love poems
written to her over his shoulder,
I quietly buttoned my shirt and left,
not a single sentence trailing behind me.
The last boy I kiss is the reason why
I stay up until four in the morning
spilling ink instead of blood,
and I read love poems to him
over the phone
despite my shaking hands
and unsteady lungs.
We sat on rooftops chain-smoking
and screaming poetry at the sky,
but now I spend Friday nights
with packs of matches
until every word I wrote about him
falls like cigarette ashes.
Lindsey Hobart is a seventeen-year-old writer, guitar player, try-to-be singer, and bunny enthusiast from a New York town that’s as quiet as her voice. Her work can be found at heartofthebitter-mindofapoet.tumblr.com.