This guy who sat in front of me in science class never showered after recess.

He was one of those boys, you know, the ones who enter a room and make their presence known
by their scent

new sweat
friction between rubber and asphalt,
bursting through a volatile layer of Evergreen Old Spice
like something tasty
like salty milk

I wanted to learn more about boys and this one in particular.
I wanted to be…sexy… like this boy and I thought I was sexy too

On forums, I had it
I had all

these things I had

fragrant words
sexy online aroma

until anonymous told me no

no one will want me because I stink
“you smell like a nasty chink”

I caught wind of my own rotting fetor
growing, I opened my windows and aired out my sheets

But what are little boys made of?
Slugs and snails
severed puppy dog tails
dirt and driftwood burning on the beach
and then there’s me

I was salty
I reeked

I was a sea weed
tossed back out to the ocean

all I wanted was to be evergreen.

Jonathan Cruz's autocorrect can't tell the difference between live and love and neither can he. He loves in Portland, Oregon.