The thrill began with the bright lights of a store,
continued in the darkness of my mother's car
and ended with a phone call in the kitchen
to tell Laura my jean jacket
wasn't exactly like hers.
Did I think that meant mine was better?
she asked me, and then hung up
which made me hate
the longer jacket
without the buttons
my mother had convinced me to love
because it wasn't like anyone else's,
and she gave me the book How to Have Friends
so I went to my room and read
about lonely kids and wondered
how it had happened:
it was just a thing;
how could a jacket cause this much
trouble? What did it mean?
Only through time time is conquered.
We were walking in a jungle somewhere.
Don't remember which jungle or which
relationship I was telling you about.
Or what you said.
Just that we were talking
and there were a lot of trees.
Where was that path?
It doesn't matter now:
just the feeling of
to tell you,
From the other side of the fence I watch the players
modern-day Lawrencian Birkins
warming their skin in the sun.
I do not substitute for them,
don't remember volunteering to play.
Join a line of people
waiting for a train.
Tres bien, I say, it's just as well,
standing in my little
coat and teardrops.
Jamie Buehner, BA English, MFA Creative Writing, CTEFL, grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on the water.