A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Aidan Forster



The boy invited himself along. He jumps 

in the photo. He places his mouth near mine 


but I am tired of trying to fit my mouth in someone else’s. 

I think of making my tongue into an artifact, untouchable.


I try to dance with the boy. He says he does not dance 

and I say not even on the night of our lives? Not even 


to celebrate the existence of your own body? The boy decides

to run away until his body forgets it’s his body


and he becomes a horse. I place him on the carousel

with the other beasts, teach him to do horse things.


In fear of losing my form I dance in the black box

with other half-formed beings. Our bodies, more 


than bodies, reflective. Afterwards, I assess the damage:

every cupcake eaten, streamers torn from the walls,


the sky denatured and clotting into night.

Someone has run off with the horse/boy/body.


From the wreckage of the party we make a shrine to our youth

to burn for one night only. 


My favorite souvenir is a vial of black shark teeth I collected one summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’ve always loved the ocean and the things in it, and this particular summer there was an abundance of shark teeth on the shore. I was struck by their durability and sleekness, and interested in what they were when removed from the mouth, unable to function as teeth anymore.

Aidan Forster is a sophomore in high school. He studies creative writing at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina, where he is the managing editor of Crashtest. His work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and will appear in the 2015 ART.WRITE.NOW.DC exhibit. He is the recipient of the 2015 Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship, and the winner of the 2015 Say What Open Mic: Fresh Out the Oven Poetry Slam. His work appears in or is forthcoming from Verse, Polyphony H.S., The Best Teen Writing of 2015, Alexandria Quarterly, Assaracus, The Adroit Journal, and on the HIV Here and Now website.