By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

By Ellyn Maybe

I’ve never gotten a Valentine’s Day card in August before.
In fact, I haven’t gotten a Valentine’s Day card in February since 1969.
When I found Sheila Castle’s 800 cards in her Batman lunch box,
I stole her Valentine from Billy Stevens.He gave her one with flower bubble gum XXX’d like a courtship.
Billy was cool.
He used to trip me in milk line.
He did cool things.
He never apologized.
He’s a stockbroker now.
I’m broke now.
But then I had to steal that card.

I’m an honest girl.
I have to tell you that so this truth has more credibility.
Once I ordered a double cheeseburger
and McDonalds gave me three pieces of meat.I gave it back.
And to show them how adamant I was, I turned vegetarian.
So there, Billy.

Somewhere Sheila Castle must be thinking to Billy Stevens, she didn’t exist.
Those extra long looks during duck duck goose must have meant nothing to him cause why didn’t he give her a card February 14.
Sheila, baby, I stole it.

I was knock kneed with loneliness.
Nocturnal glasses.
Vultures caught this bookworm.

Oh childhood, you delinquent moment between pampers and bras.

Anyway when I took Billy’s card, I scribbled to Ellyn on it
to make my forged career, pre-Alan Rudolph,
the moderns, Keith Carradine, surreal Matisse,
toe shoes complete.

Valentine’s Day cards from parents don’t count.

Besides, even though I stole Billy’s affection in the lunch box, I left one cream cheese sandwich (with extra butter)
one apple, and one picture of Shakespeare.

Let’s say we traded nutrition.

Good! I’ll sleep better tonight!!

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