Plain China

If She Remembers

by Kelly Bates · Columbia College Chicago
Pause, Vanessa Burrows · Ohio State University

She took too much chili cheese dip.
And my Girl Scout friend Katie Johnson,
with a too thick, bland brown bob, told me
to tell her that she was taking too much.

 

I felt hot and stared at the Mill Street Mustangs
wood paneled stage. Looked sideways along
the potluck table that ended in the wall.
My cheeks were heavy with blood.
Save some dip for the rest.

 

I didn’t call her fat,
but I know that’s what I meant.

 

You should’ve seen her,
maybe seven. In her favorite outfit.
Gray and maroon raglan
a star graphic centered
and matching gray pants.
Hemline dragging on the floor.

About the Author

Kelly Bates · Columbia College Chicago

Kelly Bates recently graduated with a B.A. in poetry. She’s an expert in quarter-life crises and finding distractions, which include papermaking, learning about light, and plotting the next knitting adventure. Residing in Chicago, she’s looking for a job that fits and ready to conquer the next puzzle that finds its way to her coffee table. 

About the Artist

Vanessa Burrows · Ohio State University

Vanessa Burrows graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in biology. When not buried under a lab coat, she likes to capture life's small details in her lens. She currently is working towards an M.S. in public health at Emory University.