What We’ve Forgotten

by krstaten

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He calls her “bitch,”
jokingly. She laughs,
owns it, tells him
she’s proud to be one.
The whole place smells
inexplicably of stale
cookies and warm beer.
They light another joint.

Down the street,
between customers,
another girl unwraps
candy from behind
the counter, gets
her ass slapped
by a boy three years
older, and she just
smirks as if
she knows a secret.
A couple are making out
in the storage room,
half-hoping they’ll be
heard. They think it’s
a game. Someone else
is playing cards
outside the door,
waiting for something–
someone to kiss
who’s already kissed
everyone else.
Nothing is ever quiet.

Summer feels like burns
on the soles of the feet,
and we forget in these
moments that we are still
only children, defying
and denying our childhood.
The air smells of
apple blossoms, burnt
coffee, and cigarettes,
everywhere in town.
These are the things
we never seem to remember.

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