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  • Pop Song
  • W. Todd Kaneko (bio)

Remember junior high school when we were thirteen going on twenty, our Adam’s apples blossoming in throats like swamps. Our bodies refused to be defined by our undergarments because we were so hot.

That’s why this poem looks like a cigarette dangling from the lips of a boy who is too old for you, smells like a girl, tastes like bubble gum. This poem wants you dancing in a cage at the zoo, in the backseat of a Camaro

all night long. Listen to this poem as we wait outside a 7–Eleven for someone to buy us beer, as we make sexy eyes through the tinted windows of your parents’ BMW so no one suspects we’ve never driven on the freeway.

That’s why this poem wears plastic angel’s wings, a pleather skirt and a body that glimmers like milk, glitters like dewdrops on peaches. This poem needs you dancing like cheerleaders in heat, like sweaty cobras

flexing in locker rooms — mouth these words as you undulate at football games, at basement sleepovers, in handcuffs, in California. Let’s party with this poem in cheap motels on school nights —

jump on the bed, recite this poem into your hairbrush so your drunk friends will shout it back at you.

That’s why this poem sits in your mouth like old sugar, corrosive like Pepsi, foxy like saccharin. As you drive to work every Monday, this poem wants to feel you dance like you’ve lost all control of your body, like you will never have control of anything. [End Page 24]

W. Todd Kaneko

W. Todd Kaneko lives and writes in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His stories and poems can be seen in Los Angeles Review, Crab Creek Review, Fairy Tale Review, Portland Review, Southeast Review, Blackbird, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop. He teaches in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University.



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