every girl like the last day of summer
Don’t marry the one you are most passionately in love with because the highs are high, but the lows —
my mother once said to me as a matter of fact, from personal experience, because she knows best.
Because that tooth-colored Rabbit of hers was always dying. Broke down
in the middle of the road, middle of the night. Got into
a strange car, with a strange man. How did we never die back then?
Because she told her mother she’d “see Rocky Horror,” but she hates musicals. Hates
liars. Hates smoking but still got cancer. She didn’t hate the sun.
Because on her first day of college, she saw him What was his name …
from across a cement quad and instantly knew, or thought
she knew. I was in love with him. He loved to eat Goldfish.
Because at the bottom of her rainbowed box, in a polaroid from Halloween ’73,
she’s Glinda. I try holding on to her but she slips, lands face down like
a girl who fell off a pogo stick and scored a dead-tooth smile for the rest of her life.
I often wonder what she was thinking on that day close to
my sister’s birthday,
if there was an incident or if what came next was “spur of the moment” —
listening to the lawnmower for so long out the window until the day it just stops.
I was at school. We were all at school. Except for
Celeste, who was in bed with an empty pill bottle on the nightstand.
Students and teachers alike danced around, frivolous
ritual, end-of-the-year relief. She was probably relieved
in a way, for a moment. Until she was not. Realized
the mistake, grabbed the phone.
I looked at my phone, corner of the room, panicked —
so many missed messages.
Ran out past the quad, called back to hear in the hospital, but
they didn’t know if there was anything they could do.
I stopped in the hush of overgrown weeds.
There was nothing I could do.
The rug beneath me is green and round and looks like grass.
Julie’s rug was green and foot-shaped and looked like grass.
I used to flip through the American Girl catalogue, saw Julie’s lava lamp
and Julie’s record player so I pulled out my pink lights and baby teeth.
Said no when Fay wanted to scare girls in the bathroom
with a gorilla mask and got mad when she said my scripts weren’t funny.
At recess, Elise wanted my help writing a play set in the ’30s
but neither of us knew Duke Ellington and now he’s just a ghost in some kid’s attic.
Adam wrote about ghosts in Hamlet even though I wanted
Ghosts. Instead I wrote about girls like always, always.
Girls like Julie wanted to be journalists, carried tape recorders, but
I sounded like a doll on film. Now I’d like to be consumed by grass.
Kendall Moore is a student at UCLA double majoring in English and Spanish and minoring in film. She won the Escribo en Español Spanish writing contest for poetry, and her work has appeared in Westwind, Matchbox Magazine, and the Daily Bruin. She is a SoCal local through and through, so when she is not at the beach or otherwise soaking up the sun, she is baking cookies, listening to new rock and indie-pop albums, or collaging any surface she can. If you are interested in more of her art, check out kokeshikk.wixsite.com/kiki-arty or follow her on Instagram @kiki.arty.
About the Artwork
Hara-junk-u | Collage with graphite pencil drawing, upcycled cardboard, and stickers on wood | 15 x 15 | 2020.
Hara-junk-u is the first of a series of collage pieces in this style. I created the title from the Japanese Harajuku + junk: “Harajuku” because of the Harajuku aesthetic inspiration and “junk” because of collaged background made from childhood toy boxes and packaging. Harajuku style is a mix of vibrant Japanese street fashion named after the artsy province of Tokyo. Ultimately, the combination of Harajuku style and repurposing old Japanese toy boxes is an homage to my childhood, Japanese heritage, and first visit to Japan with my Uncle Ken and Aunt Bev.