Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

You Gave Me Back My Handkerchief Covered in Snot

I wouldn’t say

I like the taste of you. In fact, I’ve always hated Jello

but I like to feel you

inside my stomach coagulating

and warm.

Between yellow bed sheets you turn over, cough and startle

the cricket that lives in my ear.

On my tongue,

the fabric is wet, limp and clean.

Salty hard crusts mold into my teeth

The roof of my palate shines

with thick clotting strands.

My eyes close slowly as you turned towards my ear

listening to the gentle rubbing of wings.

When you found the damp crushed pile inside my cupboard drawers

I watched my face flush an unpleasant pink as my cricket rustled restless in my ear.

With a wet face and balled cotton in my hand

I reminded you I smoothed your crooked back and stilled

your trembling sides.

My mother had told me I would still love

my first love when I saw her across a room in ten years.

I followed you on humid days until you stopped me,

gasping, and gave me a look that made the cricket

fall to the floor.

I sucked its paper wings

until all I could taste was my own

bitter mouth.


Caterina Dinale Sella is a College third-year majoring in Biology with minors in Creative Writing and Africana Studies. She is inspired by round shapes, bright colors, and good bread. She loves her friends.

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