My rusted love

shudders with the red scales

of high school regret

revisiting the wahine

who kindled my blood.

Holly strolls past the library

in rubber slippers

and green skirt

striped white.

Her eyes burn desire

in French class.

She wants me.

My boy failures

link up, flashing

a newsreel in my head—

beatings, bum grades,

suicide Fridays.

Fear of losing

Helen of Troy

terrifies, freezes

Hector inside.

The coward slinks out

into the blue light.

The bell rings—

Holly glides by.

The hydraulic door

groans opening wide.

I hear slippers

slapping the cement path

cutting through campus.

I listen until

the door slams shut.

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