michael king

stack of stained pages, redacted love letters, spilling ink, pressing it into tomorrow

book club: ‘the perks of being a wallflower’.

If I’m honest, The Perks of Being a Wallflower sat on my shelf for years before I finally decided it was time to read it. The film arrived in 2012 and moved me profoundly, and I knew I’d need a little distance before delving into the book.

This summer, on an evening I decided to venture out to a picnic table on campus and read, I took Perks with me. I’m glad that I did.


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this hoodie has a history,
i wanted to tell him
as i dropped it in
his waiting palms

stolen from my sister
on the morning of the
Thanksgiving run,
some old boyfriend’s, but suddenly,
she must’ve known, mine

green stain from the
night my friends and i
tried painting my room,
my first lover and i
whispering i love you
at bedtime, smiling
in secret

grad school uniform,
late-night drinks and
later-night writing,
those wild, short months,
one last adolescence

given, for months, to somebody
who never intended to
stay, who slipped out of
my life like he owed
no explanation, but
who took the time to
fold it, hide it gently
on the closet floor
before he left,
found and held close
that fragile morning

for once, i
held onto my histories,
let a hoodie be, for the moment,
a hoodie, warm against
the artificial air