Poetry from Zadie McGrath

we thought we weren’t

all that i was
was a compilation of what
i wasn’t:
how we bounced a
deflating rubber ball to and
fro across white faded
lines on the schoolyard blacktop talking and
talking about trivial
things that led us to cover each
other’s cool gray surfaces so when
finally the romantic
disruption we had
waited for came we
realized there was this empty
sphere of dry air below
the other’s surface and
plasmatic energy, unstable, below our
own, a dammed-up deluge like a

sip of carbonated
drink; rising
anticipation for the syrupy
taste then the spiky
needling in the soft
skin of your cheeks as you
attempt to swallow and
swallow as the drink goes
flat in your mouth and still you
carry the lingering taste and the
memory of craving junk
food; now you
wonder what was the
appeal and the firmest
memory you retain is that of the
deflating rubber ball, worn, durable, and