Like/As (Kristen Zory King)

Each early love a hushed and broken simile:
black bra padded, peeking through tank top sheer as—

bubble gum warm and pink around her tongue like—
the red-laced stamp of shin guard on skin as—

Herbal Essence in wet braids like—
That first kiss by the garage didn’t count

as anything but practice, the boys watching
in a circle around us, her mouth like

a humid conclusion, sweet as watermelon lipgloss.


Kristen Zory King is a writer and teaching artist based in Washington, DC. Recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Electric Lit, Emerge Literary Journal, mac(ro)mic, Past-Ten, and SWWIM, among others. Learn more or be in touch at