Grinnell Review Submission #3

“Walk Away”


1.63 hours late to…


our casual meet up.

It was downtown, in the rainy

part of the cement and chrome

city and the rain it fell like

funeral tears

hard and


and salty.


We were

supposed to talk, gently, firmly

at this coffee shop. And I expected

your words to sound and taste bitter

like Sumatran espresso. I lit


up a cigarette outside as I waited and some

blonde power moms got angry at me and

I was all like “why aren’t you in the suburbs

right now this is the really cool part of the city,

the authentic side, yknow, with all the Asian fusion

restaurants owned by white guys and all the shitty

scenester failsons.”


I flipped my undercut. Whish. Swoosh.


And I waited. And waited.


I lit up another cigarette.












Then I saw you. You were dainty.

You were gorgeous, pale, unblemished,

white, and wearing a sundress.

Your American Apparel bangs twirled in the

acidic city breeze. It’s hard to believe

you were no longer the girl who

used to be impressed by my expansive

taste in basic normie blog music.


“How are you doing?”


You didn’t actually care. Your concern,

silken words over a dagger of bitter pain,

were feigned with careless diction.


“I’m good. I work at Elite Daily now,”


I say very calculatedly. Our meet up

is a battle of memory and former



“That’s good,” you say, you selfish liar who is

also not as cool as me.


I didn’t come here to exchange pleasantries.


I’m a man, but I’m breakable. Fragility

underneath warm blood. You never

could respect my bounds or my slightly

above average understanding of Ulysses.


Without a word, only cutting silence,


I walked away. I had to.


I needed to.


  1. This is good, but it’s not a poem…it’s prose trying to be a poem

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