I do not love you—your ringing laugh
or your big hair which holds a thousand
surprises. I do not miss those times—those
stupid wonderful times when we talked
about swollen knees and shot birds in the
back of my dusty little garage shop. How
could I have known that my little garage
still had room for you, whom I do not love
I wish the gears of my feelings worked simple
like the ones in cars.
I am a mechanic not a poet.
I do not love
not loving you, not having the words to say
what my lips bleed to say. Fear my heart
will be hammered open—shattered—
like the cases you so cleverly solve,
like the ghosts of a slashed mattress.
How I long to sing the bitter notes of your
past into a sweeter melody
but people can’t be fixed as easily as cars.
My love for you is a mystery only for you to solve.
It’s not like your other mysteries. It’s plain like the
tall African grass that smells like bush tea and
whispers hints so loud. No longer will I be
caged in denial like a lion roaming the
plaster white walls of his
I do love you—
even more than the infinite expanse of the
Kalahari, the swaying olive trees of my beloved homeland.
Cindy Song is sixteen years old and a junior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland. Besides writing poetry and prose, she also enjoys playing tennis, drawing, and taking long walks in nature.