Standing on the corner with

fifty cents in her pocket, chewed-out bubblegum, raccoon eyes

Waiting for the bus in the rain.


Guitar strap pressing

down against his back, walking in the shadows

to a girl who smells like home


He sleeps on a park bench,

smelling flowers for sweet dreams, a broken teenage boy

(His parents wait by the phone)


Nicotine-stained fingers hold

the cigarette like they once held charcoal pencils

(He wishes he could save her)


A brief kiss, the world disappears

in smoke ribbons for the runaways in love

Another teen statistic