it didn’t work out
Justin Hyde

at the chuckie cheese
in saint louis
with my girlfriend
and her two
half-sisters.

the picture-booth
in the game-room
made an automated
sketch.

the four of us
crammed in there,
then sarah
stuck with it.

she popped more tokens,
took her shoe off
and held it
up to the viewer.

she was in
third grade.

her father
had left them
and gone to florida
three months ago.

she grabbed a piece of pizza
off our table,
dropped more tokens
and held it up.

i handed her a five
and said
let’s see if it can get
lincolnís beard.

it
did.

she wondered
if it would work
upside down.

i did
a handstand.

she smiled wide
as i’d seen
in my two days there.

are you
gonna marry my sister?
she asked
while grabbing my hand
and leading me
to the skee-ball lanes.

i hope so.

me too,
she said
and locked
a bear hug.

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