the chicken fries i’m eating
don’t taste like 2005.
they’re seasoned differently,
and i don’t
know how to breathe
when the pupils
of your iris-eyes
meet the rubber of my boots
and tell me “bye”
and i realize that i think i love you.
i keep the streets
in the back pockets of my jeans
ripped open memories
at the very seams of my muscles
and veins pink and tender
like your cheeks
when the cold slaps you
and your hands are too numb
to hit back,
i love you
with arms reaching for the
slipped away bits of 2006
that taste like honey nut cheerios
stale and sweetly foreseeing
the downfall
of a few good years
that sour
after too much sunlight
and the increasing amount of freckles
along your nose
seasoned with time
and seasons
that punch gently
to the tune of
i love you.
i love you 2005 chicken fries
i love you 2006 honey nut cheerios
i love you 2010 lysol
i love you 2015 black bean burger
i love you 2016 feeling i get when i stick my hand in one of those dyson hand dryers and it pulls my skin back and i remember that i’m alive.

maya maldonado is a 19 year-old puerto rican poet based out of phoenix. they love the
strength that is most often drawn from emotional vulnerability, and hope their work will give them an opportunity to share that with others. they tweet @commiespice.