Canvas

for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

Rainwater Girls and Angel Boys

Anna Lee


 My angel calls me rainwater
running through the gutter.
He tells me to smile
as the light
rips through my eye’s tide;
 
to bite harder, even as I taste
the salt-blood swelling
warm on my lips, 
as layers of love
peel away and it pools—
 
He tells me to be shown to myself,
bare and beaming rouge,
and know that sometime soon, 
he’ll be there
to dress my wounds.
           
His “words of wisdom”
leave me thinking:
Why does a rainwater girl
need an angel boy
to dress her wounds?
 
When did I stop patching
my own holes?
When did I start smiling
because he told me to?
When did I first feel the need
to have a “you”?
           
I’m a rainwater girl
and you’re an angel boy—
a fairytale “you.”
 
And fairytale yous sing words like
need and dream
but real-life yous sputter
what’s up? and fuck.
 
So I’m afraid that if I put your name
on the page, you’ll end up
like all the other angel boys—
 
Premiere with a bang! and words like
licoricelover,
sticking in between my teeth,
want, hope, need you forever.
 
Then make a foray into
thought I knew you, 
never wanted you, not who I thought,
the colorless boy to my flightless bird,
just not worth the time.
           
And I’ll end with a wave of pride, false and new:
This is when I start to speak of you like
a bruise I’m trying to forget about
until I’ll never tell this story anymore.
 
So I’ll keep your name inside my brain
and off of the page,
because rainwater girls don’t need angel boys
but I still tell myself
 
I need you.


Anna Lee is seventeen years old and attends Friends Seminary. Her poetry has won several Gold and Silver Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She enjoys sitting on stoops and eating mango. This would be her first publication.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY