You miss Ashlee Simpson. You miss Oma’s upholstered chairs crowned with china dolls. Holes in the wall from chucked alarm clocks. John F Kennedy. You miss masturbation and jogging on astroturf. You miss slumber parties. August barbecues. You miss Boston, and church pews. You miss Earth’s first wiggly life forms. You miss oil paint. Floppy-haired boys in graphic tees who smirk across the cafeteria. School bus in the rain, leather seats and opaque windows. Driving dark Vermont roads with a man you are beginning to love. You miss talk radio, pond brine to your knees. You miss rain that slats gray on the windshield, cave paintings. When your parents read you books before bed, rubbing your palms on the rug to conjure static.
You miss the toilet, magazine flapped glossy on your lap. Glamour! You miss the smell of barns –horse tails slapping flies. You miss laying with Marisa in the dark, whispering, Where do people do it? Over the toilet? What do you think it feels like?
You miss strawberry Poptarts and alien movies. You miss everyone you’ve ever kissed, except the burger-mouthed marine from the dance club. You miss doing drugs in the blizzard, how snow became glitter movable by your eyeballs, how you gazed at gales of flakes unashamed of the tears sliding out your ducts. As if you were a clementine, peeled. You miss popsicles bleeding blue on the blacktop.
You miss dogs with stubby legs. Brushing make-up onto your cheeks. You miss String Theory. You miss sameness of the sea, light curled off ridged roofs, splotches on the deck from pruned feet, hard teal diving board. Being seven, leather car seat, stretching your neck to view the bottoms of trees.
What about fourteen, sucking your stomach flat under your school uniform?
Do you miss the boring songs about God the nuns made you sing? You don’t miss popping zits or picking callouses. You don’t miss the gynecologist’s metal stirrups. You miss gasoline, snipped grass. You don’t miss mall food courts. You miss the moon landing, line breaks and meter, parabola’s jump ropes. You miss your first therapist –her peach cheeks and perfect haircut. You miss dancing with Maggie in the front of a concert, pushed against the buzzing amp by strangers’ swiveling hips.
You miss animals murdering each other on TV, their shiny magnolia guts. You miss clumped period blood. You miss frogs. You miss waitresses with tattooed ankles, diner ketchup bottles, cities stacked like milk cartons against all odds, polluting the universe, filling it with light. You miss your brain before you’d ever grieved.
You miss the snake like water in your hands. How stage lights shrunk your pupils. When water and land were scoops of color miles under your feet. You miss flying dreams, and cowboys. Bette Midler, the salt space a lost tooth leaves. Nelson Mandela, and gold-framed paintings on museum walls. You miss fluttering your fingers under blankets, alone. You miss waking thirsty, sucking water from a thermos. You miss the field trip to the polluted lake, how you unpacked your logbooks, you miss how it looked like tea.
A Rhode Island native, Kathleen Radigan is currently an undergraduate at Wesleyan University. Previous publications include "The Adroit Journal," "Girls With Insurance," "Constructions," "PANK Blog" and several others. She loves comedy, reality TV, and going out for breakfast.