Kirsti Sandy πŸ”ˆ

Andover Girls

Kelly got sick on the bus,
a tin of Village green apple lip balm
sliding from her blazer pocket
right into the splatter.

It was the raw cookie dough that did it,
those warm balls of flour and sugar
snuck from Home Economics,
now spewed near the overpass
where boys had hurled a boulder onto Route 93
and killed the science teacher on her way home.

The coincidences collide.

Two stops over lived a Holocaust survivor
– near the Vo Tech, a prostitute
murdered by a Tufts professor –
and on one street every house had thyroid cancer
from the chemical plant, everyone said.

You could live in Andover and never know
the coincidences, the collisions,

everyone said.

When Kelly got sick on the bus,
she gathered her jacket, her bag,
stepped over the puddle
– her lip balm floating like a yolk –
and waited, eyes forward, as the door folded open
to take whatever stop came next.

Author Reading

About the Author

Kirsti Sandy teaches creative writing at Keene State College. Her essay collection, She Lived and the Other Girls Died, was awarded the Monadnock Essay Collection Prize in 2018 and her essay, I Have Come for What Belongs to Me won the Raven Prize for Nonfiction. Her work can be found in Split Lip, Boiler, Under the Gum Tree, and Natural Bridge, among other journals, and four of her poems will be featured in the November issue of Hole in the Head Review. She raises chickens, loves Morgan horses, and is just about as Gen X as you can get.