August 1, 2016

A poem by Anna Keeler: "Boys Like Hym(n)"

Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer attending Rollins College.    She is currently a columnist for The Odyssey Online, as well as the poetry editor for Brushing Literary Magazine. Her work has been published or is upcoming in Crab Fat Literary Magazine and Red Fez Literary Journal. She lives in Winter Park, FL.


Boys Like Hym(n)

Sit in the back of the church while his mom’s head is shoved into a hymnal, his eyes glossing the back of the girl he likes as she sways her way to the baptismal font.
Boys Like Him
Never ask her to dance, because her fingers look beautiful over the strings of her guitar, but are intimidating when wrapped around his neck, so close to his throat.
Boys Like Him
Let his older brother ruffle his hair and tease him about his “little crush,” grinding hard knuckles into his scalp until the tufts of halcyon seep into his brain and create rungs of light around her image.
Boys Like Him
Spend years looking at her, his arms aching to explore the curves of her body, wanderlust for the skin and hair and eyes he’s never felt with his own two hands.
Boys Like Him
Drive her crazy with flirtation and subtle hints, because she’s not subtle but doesn’t have the chance to say anything, because he sits in the back, and she sits in the front.
Boys Like Him
Don’t wear their hearts on their sleeve, so she opens his chest and takes it out, dissecting his valves and aortas, sorting through the insecurity and clogged arteries to learn what it is about her that makes his lips stumble over her name.
Boys Like Him
Aren’t the timeworn gentleman; the type who will hold the door open as she walks inside but holds his tongue at the feet of her critics. His seemingly full heart becomes transparent; like the apologies he now gives under his breath. Not because he’s sorry, but because the lights around her dim, and she’s not the cherub he thought her to be.
Boys Like Him
Leave her sitting across from him on the edge of her seat, waiting for that confession that will never come. Her fingers slip out of his hands and cringe shut around empty air to fight back the tears, because she knows she will never get used to the feeling of her fingers not closing around him. Because boys like him don’t go for girls like her; because his head is shoved too full of his doubts and his fears, and has no room for the girl he never touched.

 ~Anna Keeler

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