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Expecting the Stoning


you know how you want a popsicle and you want it for the longest time, and you don’t even know what it’s going to taste like when you get it, and then you finally get it and it tastes oh so good and you have some if it and you want to save it so you can have it later. And then you realize that in order to keep the popsicle from disappearing it has to stay in the freezer to avoid melting and becoming just a liquid pile of remains instead of what you wanted.

that it had to stay in the freezer in order to survive, and you couldn’t stay there with it. That it was meant to be cold forever, or consumed.

it was either one or the other. They taught you that fact when you were little. You can’t have it both ways. You can try, and it might be fun at first but everyone knows it will hurt later on.

And it will.


I think what I liked the most about us was the theory of romance.

No, wait, it wasn’t that, it was the fact that it was forbidden; you were a friend of a friend and this wasn’t quote unquote supposed to be happening. But I liked the idea of being with you. I would travel across the country to see you. The thought of you and the times we had behind everyone’s backs, those times were like poems to me. Maybe looking back we weren’t technically together when we couldn’t even tell anyone that we we ever together in the first place, but it was still nice for me to fantasize.

And what did it get me?


maybe my problem was that it was all in my head, and maybe I didn’t realize the novelty would wear off for you. You were like the average American and after twenty seconds of watching a television show you’d want to change the channel with the remote on the arm of your chair.

I didn’t know you were a popsicle that would melt when you were exposed to ANY sunlight or ANY heat at ANY time.

I didn’t know you had problems. Don’t we all. We all don’t go to psychiatrists and stay on medications. Maybe I didn’t know how bad your problems were.

I didn’t know you were a snowman that I made in the backyard at my house in the winter when I was little. A snowman that was fully equipped with a carrot nose, like pinocchio, no, wait, like you, with no hair, like you, with black rocks for eyes, like you.

And yeah, that snowman melted with spring, like you, and maybe I should have learned my lesson from that damned snowman.

I guess there was a lot about you I didn’t know because in so many ways I didn’t know you.


I remember how little kids would want to build snowmen in the winter. They didn’t seem to mind the snowman eventually going away.

I hated the cold, so I didn’t play in the snow as much.

Maybe in playing those little games everyone else learned their lesson, maybe they learned something that I should have learned.


I should expect the stonings that I am bound to receive for telling you that I know what you have done and that I want the rest of the world to know it too. I will expect the stonings with time, I have been getting used to the punishments for telling the truth, even when people don’t want to hear it.

So, thank you for getting my hopes up and then blowing them away with one breath from your lips like anyone would do to a pile of sand.

(or table salt spilled on the counter)

because I think I needed to learn that lesson. And in a way, for now, I only have you to thank for it.

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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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