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"CRUSH" by Karen Crawford

We're all lips and limbs under a velvet blanket when my crush's mother barges in, she’s all hands when she yells whaddya youse doing, he’s all mouth when he says nothin', then she points to the phone, it's "the nice Italian girl next door," snatches the blanket from me and folds, when she asks where I'm from, I know what she means, and later I'll learn my crush, with his Saturday Night Fever smile, is not a "nice Italian boy," and his mother's hips will block the door when my father darkens it with his voice, and she'll pretend not to understand his rapid-fire speak, the crisp roll of his r's, the soft j of his y's, and I'll pretend not to see my crush's shadow behind her, remembering the stain of his sweat, the violating crush, the crush of being nothin'.


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