"Black Lines" by Johnny Scarlotti

when i was 8 or 9

on swim team 


my friend blake said

“hey, have you sniffed 

the black lines 

at the bottom of the pool yet?”


i said 

“no, why?” 


he said

“because they smell like

black licorice” 


i said 

“what? really?”


he said



i said 

“cool! be right back!” 


i dove under and i got real close

to the black line


excited, i sniffed


"On the Train" by Johnny Scarlotti

I sit on the train

with some kids

my friends, I guess

I hang my head




sits next to me


she says

your body

it’s like a smile 

from knee to head

she traces it with her hand 


haha, she laughs


I say


it’s a frown

I’m depressed


but she can’t hear me

she has already run off


katherine, come back