sometimes i think it’s not the kissing i miss,
it’s the having kissed someone.
it’s the telling people about it.
like a fourteen-year-old
trying alcohol for the first time,
i just want to have done something
worth talking about.
i promise myself it won’t be me.
so when you knock on my door –
twice, like normal –
i twist the lock and pretend i am alone.
when you catch me in the park,
i smile politely, say
sorry, you must have the wrong person,
and keep walking towards the meadow.
when you call me,
i let it go to voicemail:
let the version of me you loved tell you
i’m busy right now.
when you text me,
i lock my phone in the drawer.
when you email me,
i lock my laptop in the cupboard.
when you climb onto the balcony,
and start your speech outside my window,
i draw the curtains,
and put on the headphones you lent
to the version of me you loved.
when you are gone,
and there is nothing left to be done,
i look in the mirror
and see that the version of me you loved
is gone too.
teen rom-com boyfriend
i want patrick verona
belting i love you baby on the bleachers,
firing paintballs at my heart,
which doesn’t hurt, actually,
and buying me guitars.
i want josh lucas
mocking me for still watching cartoons,
smiling from our fathers’ kitchen,
which is not at all weird, thank you,
and kissing me on the fancy staircase.
i want jesse swanson
peeking through shelves of CDs,
trying to stop me getting in fights,
which obviously doesn’t work,
because i am strong and independent.
i want robbie jennings,
laughing at my wotsit legs in the pool,
writing a song that calls me ‘a problem to solve’,
which is obviously very romantic,
and not at all sexist now you think about it.
i want peter kavinsky,
who’s never seen sixteen candles (?!),
buying the yoghurt drinks my sister likes,
even though i don’t have a sister,
and sending me sticky notes.
i want aaron samuels,
telling me the date on october 3rd,
helping me realise that maths is cool,
which is obviously not true,
but does mean i get to wear a cool jacket.
i want to feel loved,
like serenade, grand declaration loved,
but also like inside jokes, holding hands loved,
which is something all those rom-com girls have.
Katie Kirkpatrick (she/her) studies French at the University of Oxford, and is a Poetry Editor for the Oxford Review of Books. She has won the 12-18 category of the BBC Proms Poetry competition and her work has been published in perhappened mag, Modern Poetry in Translation and more. Outside of poetry, she doesn’t stop talking about musical theatre and teen movies. Twitter: @katiejohannak