Dad left me 
at Mr. Wilson’s Soda Shop 


it was the beginning 
of Spring and the magnolia 

blossoms opened 

like origami 
fortune tellers with nothing 

written in their folds

I could see Jimmy
in the red stenciled window

bouncing up the street
and whistling 

with his reflection

he always kept both hands 
in his pockets 

like he was still cold 
from the winter 

the other girls looked at me 
and giggled

then looked back 
his direction 

a little brass bell rang when 
he opened the door 

I felt bad smiling 
at him 

but luckily Mr. Wilson came 
right over 

to take our orders

we got two strawberry malts 
with whipped cream 

and cherries 

Jimmy saw what was coming
and I watched 

as his nose slipped off  
into his malt 

he looked like an illustration 

from our anatomy 

I reached out to take his hand

but he’d dropped both
on the tiled floor  

all his blood had drained into 
his boat shoes 

I grabbed his hair 
and pulled his forehead

back over his skull 

and then I kissed his pale lips
one last time 

Mr. Wilson asked me
if I needed a mop 

and I nodded 

Jimmy’s shoes squished as he 
wobbled out the door

leaving me there 
to clean up our mess