Imagine Being Fifteen & Falling in Love While Holding a Half-Melted Snowcone in One Hand & Nothing in the Other | Hannah Cajandig-Taylor

You want to swap coconut chapstick with the boy holding a can of Orange Crush soda. He’s laughing over the pool’s kiosk counter with a glowing girl that isn’t you. Condensation races down the aluminum can. Exhale. It’s the heat of summer. You want a boy who wants a girl who works at the pool’s kiosk counter. To swallow something so cold, it buries the sweet. To be the can of Orange Crush briefly kissing his bottom lip. To know what it’s like to have it all: that teenage tabloid brand of love, the sun-soaked lifeguard & every bubble carbonating in his oiled palms, a way to say remember that time in second grade? With the blue raspberry popsicles on field day? You always remember. Always want something sugar-stained, tough to the touch, reaching constantly, but never quite making contact. An August sun pinks you again. The chapstick melts in your pocket.

Hannah Cajandig-Taylor (she/her) is a poet and flash writer residing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she reads for Fractured Lit. She's the author of ROMANTIC PORTRAIT OF A NATURAL DISASTER (Finishing Line Press, 2020) and has published work in Gigantic Sequins, Milk Candy Review, and Trampset, among others. She's been nominated for some stuff and had a piece featured in Wigleaf's 2021 Top 50. She thinks that grapes taste better frozen and has strong feelings about umbrellas.

Twitter: @hannahcajandigt