Sixteen and Adams

Lauren Wilson is from Birmingham, Michigan. She is studying English and Creative Writing at the College of William & Mary. She intends to pursue a career in publishing. When Lauren isn't writing ... [+]

Image of Short Fiction & Poetry Contest - 2019

The sign in the school parking lot says,

"No right turns."

A Michigan cherry knot catches

between tongue and teeth.

The car lurches forward, and you almost choke

when the knot punches the back of your throat.

At the exit, you turn right anyway.


Your best friend asks whether you think

her jeans look like floods.

She tells you a story, and her finger traces lifelines

on upturned palms, mapping the roads and towns

that now hang on walls behind green glass doors.


You tease your mother for saying "ay-ggs" instead of "eh-ggs"

but realize that your mouth curls around the sound, too,

when you're not with her. You find yourself

tucking memories into a corner of your lungs,

waiting for the chance to exhale her image.


Late into the night, bards pass beneath the bridge

in a rite of passage. Their voices rattle the house walls;

their melodies carry you into sleep.


In waking hours, your teeth ache

from the sweet-sharp taste of dreaming.