Happy New Year 2017 vintage logo. The luxurious card in ethnic patterns.
The Seasons of Seventeen
by Alex Simand

Winter of clutching Schnapps
bottles in bus shelters
adult enough now to drink
child enough still to chuck
snowballs at street signs
on glass
your spit freeze

Spring of poodle pups
of discovering surreptitious
ravines that snake
through whole cities
like dark veins
Spring of rain and tulip bulbs
tiger lilies and slaughtered sheep
and watching the tall man
pacing and smoking
through the front window

Summer of losing yourself
in dusty record stores
smell of used books
latex you can’t quite scrape
from fingernails
painting minute window frames
in scorched earth heat
and the instant you were propositioned
by a man in an open gingham shirt
with a pitcher of lemonade

Autumn of basements and coveting
writing your first poem
eating pomegranates after school
making white shirts untenable
pizza stains and crushes
and arcade machine high scores
Autumn of discovering headphones
and peat moss and walking
without purpose

IMAGE: Numbers from vintage card.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: All I remember from seventeen is a series of fleeting feelings and images. But that’s the nature of memory: seemingly random stills from the movie of your life you’ve put together. We tell stories to ourselves. Sometimes those stories are visual. I am obsessed, as a Canadian transplant to California, with seasons—the implicit passing of time, the marking of eras. I miss the changing of leaves and cold, bitter winters. What better conceit for reflecting on the vague, but oddly vivid, sensations of seventeen?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alex Simand lives and works in San Francisco. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. He writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. His work has appeared in Red Fez, Mudseason Review, Five2One Magazine, Angel City Review, Drunk Monkeys, and other publications. Alex is the former Blog Editor for Lunch Ticket and past Editor of Creative Nonfiction and Diana Woods Memorial Prize. Find him online at www.alexsimand.com or on Twitter at @AlexSimand.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from my teenage years. I’ve never been one for having my photo taken. Call it embarrassment. Call it superstition. Call it hubris. This is a photo of me as a plant.