By Juliette Lopez


Lightning’s signature illuminates the sky

on a Sunday evening in mid-June. 

My entire existence is rumbled, 

as rain kisses my fingertips. 


The thought of you 

rests in the black clouds 

hovering over my dripping head. 


Your hands running up my body—

raindrops matching the beat of my heart. 


Whispers in the dark; 

at 17, I had never felt so alive. 


But I’m not 17 anymore,

 and it’s been almost two years

since you asked me to sneak out

to your house at 3 a.m. 


We weren’t in love, 

but our casual hookups were 

like something out of a movie—

except you didn’t stand outside 

my window with a boombox,

instead, you asked me to buy Plan B. 


At 17, I never felt more scared and confused—

standing alone in CVS 

as the 60-year-old woman behind the checkout counter

looked me up and down— 

and the boy that I had fallen for never texted me back. 


Catching Smoke                                                                           Streetlight Hopping