First Draft

Rachel Uon

you can’t tell anyone,

but i’ve got thousands of people

hidden in my right pocket,

scrawled on the same post-it notes

the teacher gave us in fourth grade.

my pocket’s not big enough

to hold them all

but i like to think i can do anything

if my handwriting’s neat enough.


some have names,

others, the lucky, have faces,

but most are broken fragments

of eyes and arms

that couldn’t survive long enough to make

the leather-bound dream

i hug to my chest every night.

they smudge their lashes

and dirty, peeled fingernails

onto every inch of the unloved flesh

of my decade-old notebook,

knowing i lack the strength

to tear out a single page.


but the post-its don’t stick anymore.

the people don’t, either.


i never made it past the first draft.