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Five Cents

Passed Notes & Poems

a monthly feature by Kristin Garth

TW: non-explicit discussion of a true crime of childhood sexual assault

The Poem: ((*Listen here!*))

Five Cents

would buy a notebook you must steal. Fifth grade

charade of friendship you might feel apart

of -- if you play a game. Woolworth’s glissade-

burnt fingertips, small cardboard shame, singed, smarts,

aflame, before some mechanic explains

that he is FBI. That spiral book

you did not buy has consequence — detained,

reformatory school, evidence. Looks

shy, wet eyes, full of dread — we’ll keep it to

ourselves instead. You breathe, relieved, reprieve

mistaken — 21 months of plans for you,

road trips he scripts, girlhood you’re forced to leave.

11’s inexpensive innocence.

In 1948, it cost five cents.

Passed Note:

I love to write & read true crime and literature. Every once in a while, true crime and literature intersect, and when that happens I am in a happy place/sweet spot of inspiration. A sonnet happens, and, to me, that is happiness.

I’m currently reading a book where these interests align. It’s called The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman. Sometimes with my sonnet compulsion, I don’t read as much as I would like. I used to be quite addicted to reading, and then when I started writing and publishing full force, it was something that, out of a sad necessity, fell away only due to the limitaitons of time.