The Verb To Be by Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon’s first chapbook, Deep Fahrenheit, was published 2019 (Prolific Press) and her poems have appeared in the Aurorean, The Massachusetts Review, Writeangles, and other journals. She is the author of numerous books for children and young adults. She lives in Gill.

The Verb To Be

So I had been trying to psych myself into asking this really cute, nice guy
named Kyle to prom but he sent Mindy a promposal via pizza, spelling out
Prom? in red pepper letters. My friend Lisa said, That’s so cheesy, why do
you even like the guy? Then Josh B., he’s in my Spanish class, asked me to
go with him. Lisa said, He’s totally not cool, say no, and anyway he just wants
you to do his homework, but when he asked me, I felt this relief, like, whoa,
I’m normal!! I mean, half the time I feel like an irregular verb, like I don’t fit
the pattern. So I said Si, yo voy contigo. He didn’t even laugh. After that it was
so awkward being with him in class. Like what did we even have in common?
I asked him, Do you have brothers, sisters? Two older brothers. Pets? A German
shepherd. His name is Max. Why, I asked him, are you growing a moustache?
Because I have a baby face. What did he ask me? Nothing. Nada. I couldn’t help
wishing I was going with Kyle, but I woke up one night and had this thought:
Kyle is like a regular verb. Easy to memorize. Okay, yeah. What some people
might call boring. Speaking of boring, last week Lisa said, Prom dresses are so
boring. She was going to wear a tux. All I can say is, she’s got way more guts
than I do. But then again she’s been dating Anita for a year. One thing I’ve noticed.
Love makes a person more secure. My dress is slinky, little straps. Shimmery
and blue. I was going for the mermaid look. But then the virus came and prom’s
called off, and now I am, you are, he and she is, we, and they are . . .
like . . .