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"Last Kiss" • Pearl Jam (by Shawn Rampaul)

See, my mistake was that I was listening to the lyrics instead of the conversation about whether socks and sandals are ever an acceptable fashion choice. And because of that, a globus sensation crept up on me and made my drink unswallowable. I had to go to the kitchen to cut it out, and perhaps the keenness of my tears slipped, because I had the action-movie moment where the protagonist feels his abdomen to realize he got stabbed, and he’s bleeding, and he stumbles for a bit trying to figure out who or when, but really it’s irrelevant because he just needs to keep moving forward. So that’s what I did; I segued out to the backyard, sniffling, blurry, and sat on stairs. I’m upset because if you were still here, I would unashamedly insert our anecdote about how I consciously wore socks and sandals when we first met. And we’d command the entire room, you and I playing verbal ping-pong with an audience. But you’re not here, so I wait for Eddie Vedder’s wavering, trembling, voice to stop haunting me, which he never seems to oblige. 

Shawn Rampaul is a 23-year-old law graduate. He has work published in EllipsisZine, BLEACH!, Stone of Madness Press, and Harpy Hybrid Review, and has work forthcoming in Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry, Eunoia Review, and Gone Lawn.


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