the fifth

This Poem Tastes Like Bubblegum


100 gecs, “ringtone” 


Feeling a loud fifteen again, 

running you through my head 

to every song that comes on shuffle,


sprawling on my unmade bed 

staring at my phone, pulse carrying me away 

like it’s an 80s movie and I just got my own landline, 

slipped my number right through the vent of your locker. 


Two songs ago you were picking me up

to drive the dirt road to the lake, 

forever-long summer, 

hair tangled in the wind and hand on my knee.


One song ago we were slow dancing 

circles around each other in a school gym, 

prom after closing, 

deflated balloons and dark blue reverb.


I’m trying to decide where we are now,

somewhere crowded where we can kiss alone, 

a suburban house party, 

a friend’s basement show 


I must send a signal through the 5G - 

the music cuts out and my heart kicks in 

and oh my god, 

I throw my phone across the room,

chase right after it, flying. 


Meredith Phipps (she/her) is a current undergraduate student at Barnard College where she studies English and works as a Writing Fellow. She bounces back and forth between Manhattan and northern Indiana. She has current or upcoming work in The Augment Review, The Daily Drunk, and Northern Otter, among others. (twitter: @merzi1999)

© 2021 by Elizabeth Bates. Proudly created with

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