the twenty-third

I've Never Been to Chicago


In second grade, I

had a crush on a boy

named Nick. Except I


didn't want him to know, so I

pulled his chair out from under

him. And he fell; hard, fast–


like the temps during

a Midwest pneumonia front. I've

never been to Chicago, but I


probably should've called

you back that Tuesday night

and learned how to boil

hot dogs. And maybe if I

had stayed at school

that one break


instead of going Northeast with my

roommate, we

never would've met and I


wouldn’t have fallen; fast, hard.

And been left sick-

hearted from your


false front.


Valerie Frost is a Garden State native. She lives in Central Kentucky with her twin three-year-olds. Her poems have appeared in the Eastern Iowa Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Thimble Literary Magazine, and elsewhere.  

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