All of the Poems in my Head Concern Things I Shouldn’t Remember and Don’t Want to Write About

by Sarah Mims Yeargin

Perhaps I could mention the carving in the willow,
behind his house and in front of the pond, back
when his parents thought I was a Christian–the
wrinkled peach pit buried in the earth, the
indention in the ground where our bodies lay
and I let him slip his hands up my shirt
for the first time, a duck feather taped to a page.

In my journal–almost a year later, my
poetry teacher told me that pain and love
are the reasons people write–I could disclose
the details of winter here, where all we did
was play Mario Kart and I traded head
for love, dignity for a sense of self-worth,
morals for what I thought it meant to commit–

instead I just won’t acknowledge
the color yellow anymore, or peppermint lattes
in the cafe downtown; I no longer think it’s
funny that Hitler’s birthday and a stoner’s favorite
festivity exist together, or that the boy chased me
for three years before I realized I wanted him too.
All that’s left is a bouquet of rotten daffodils

and lilacs in a green glass Coke bottle, moldy film
on the surface of the water that has yet to evaporate.
I don’t write poems about him because
he doesn’t remember and neither do I and it’s not
even worth it to ask, to remind him of when
he told me that that the summer apart–me
with my poetry and him with his schoolwork–

wouldn’t screw us over, wouldn’t be the end.

Author Biography: Sarah Mims Yeargin is a junior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she studies creative writing. She enjoys reading, rainy days, and of course, poetry.