Sonnets I Wrote at Age 17 About Boys by Ali Barthwell

On The Boys, The Men, and Those Not Quite Either

Ali Barthwell, Age 17, River Forest, Illinois

I. The Smart One
1. His arms are made of ginger ale:
Mama’s failsafe cure for a stomachache
I’ve been aching for someone like him.
He’s what they should put in college
Viewbooks, but pictures can’t capture how
his lips smell of bone: something older
and stronger than me. His mouth feels like
Nail polish: thick, smooth.
We’ve been waiting for someone like us.
A girl in glasses ardently seeking
boy made of the stuff schools like this are
built on to sit under unused lights in a room
Where a life like the one we need can bloom.

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How to Get Ready for Your OkCupid Date by Ali Barthwell

  1. Fake an illness so you can leave work early to get ready
  2. Check OkCupid in case you want a Back-up Date
  3. Turn on the shower as well as your “Queen Bee” Beyonce-themed Spotify playlist for feminine inspiration
  4. Stand in the running water for one minute holding your razor pondering whether or not to shave your legs
  5. Decide against shaving because it means you’re more likely to try to have sex with Your Date to take advantage of leg smoothness. Also because having sex on the first date is slutty
  6. Get angry as a feminist for thinking that wanting to have sex on the first date is slutty
  7. Shave your left leg
  8. Cut yourself shaving
  9. Resign yourself to wearing pants on this date Continue reading