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"Don't" by Morgan Boyer

After Jimmy Cvetic’s “Just Because”

Don’t skin the pencil of its yellow coating like you’re some French fur trader

Don’t hide behind the couch in the parlor while the Elders are having a meeting

Don’t use the Christmas ornament Tupperware box as a staircase sled

Don’t sit inside it, either.

Or have Ryan push you across the church basement

You know what? Just go shopping while we do this.

Don’t destroy your father’s table-top strategy games...just watch where you’re going.

Don’t cuss at the computer when it’s being slow because of all the Sims 2 mods you and your sister downloaded.

I know your father does that, but that’s different.

Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t crash sooner.

Don’t wear your jeans like that. People can see your butt-crack.

Don’t put your leggings and jeans in the same drawer as your sweatpants.

Don’t forget to fold your t-shirts instead of stuffing them in the drawer.

Same goes for long-sleeve shirts.

Don’t turn on the dryer without cleaning out the filter of lint first.

Don’t get the three-scoop waffle cone. Two is fine.

Don’t forget your lunch tickets on the kitchen counter.

Don’t fall asleep in German class.

I know it's the second period. Remember to drink your coffee.

Don’t vomit spaghetti-shaped puke in the sink.

Don’t piss in the pool.

Remember to put sunscreen on your face, too.

Close your eyes real quick, ok? Yeah, it’s cold, just rub it in.

Don’t throw that bowl of nachos at Mrs. Rooney’s head at the summer pool party.

Don’t leave your scarves and underwear out, Pierre might get them.

Don’t get on the computer too close to bedtime; it’ll make it difficult to fall asleep.

Don’t forget to take the dogs out before you go to bed.

Both of them, not just Snickerdoodle.

Don’t swear at your paraprofessionals.

Or at other kids. Or at your teachers. Or at me.

Don’t forget to lock the doors.

Don’t jay-walk without looking both ways.

Don’t eat too many carbs, Carb Queen.

Don’t forget that

I love you

Morgan Boyer is the author of The Serotonin Cradle (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and a graduate of Carlow University. Boyer has been featured in Kallisto Gaia Press, Thirty West Publishing House, Oyez Review, Pennsylvania English, and Voices from the Attic. Boyer is a neurodivergent bisexual woman who resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

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