ABC Poem by Chela Novak (2011)

A piece of paper floated down from the hands of a

Boy who held the rest of my heart in his fingers.

Careful, he whispered, and I wished he’d let the fake words linger.

Delicacy was on my mind in a way, and

Everything seemed to take longer in this place that was quiet.

Forget me, okay? I haven’t been around so long that you should

Give up on who I made you.

He pressed a piece of paper in to the hands of me, and

I realized I held the rest of my heart in my fingers.

Just so, he whispered, I can’t

Keep myself away from you. You know that I’ll


and I remember that

Malt liquor was your father’s favorite things in the hands of a

New accomplice and none

Of those things were relevant to the fact that we were

Protecting ourselves from asking

Questions. I

Revolved around you and my revolutions had


Turn around, you whispered, and I wished he’d let his hands stay

Under my cashmere sweater, staying warm and applying

Varying pressure to my hips that were moving farther away from our diluted

Water of love. I forget about those

X-rated lies and I held the rest of my heart in my fingers.

You threw that piece of paper down from your hands and the remaining

Zest of my heart didn’t linger.


– Chela Novak, 12th grade, The Ross School.

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