Andrea Janov is a recent transplant to Pittsburgh who was raised by rock n’ roll parents who knew the importance of concerts and going past the no trespassing signs. She spent her adolescence in a small town punk rock scene where she moshed, fell in love, and produced a few cut and paste fanzines. She holds Creative Writing degrees from SUNY Purchase and Wilkes University.


           I slide into the passenger seat of his car,
stretch   to   unlock   his   door.
You passed the test, Mark says.
                   What test?
It was in a movie.
     We sit in front of my parents’ house.    
 He hands me a half crumpled camera box 
bound in white masking tape. 
Happy graduation.

    The box twists
 as my fingers rip at the binding,
until the tape            snaps 
       with the stress. 

Inside, a jumble of
    things. He watches me.  
                          I don’t want to disappoint him. 

I have to explain each 
  thing in here.
       He leans over, 
      pulls out crinkled papers 
      and art supplies. All drawing 
stuff, tracing paper, erasers,
sketches, they are kind of part 
of who I am. A glow stick I swiped 
from Hot Topic when I worked there —
                   when we first met.  
       He drops each item into my lap. 
Bike company stickers, he glances at me,
fire crackers, because explosives 
are always fun.

This is the piece of art that can get me 
into any college that I want. 
         Collaged black and white photos,
                  legs : arms : blurred faces
            glossier than any subway
       I had ever been on. 
The photos 
are pirated though. 
      I wonder how many girls
          are jealous
of me right now.

A battery you asked me to hold
a couple of years ago. A dented, chipped 
Chevy emblem, and Justin and I stole this 
one of the first times we came over your house.
                  I believe him because I want to. 

A MetroCard. You will be 
      using a lot of these. 
A Screeching Weasel CD 
   and I couldn’t find the case, 
          I might have stolen that too.

The box is almost empty 
                     and my lap is full. 
 A piece of my belt.
                      Ride The Fire branded into
               the leather. And the cover
 page of On The Road. Have you 
read it? You should, but you can’t buy it,
 you have to get it from someone, 
or at least that is the way it should be. 
It is something to pass on. 

He puts each item back 
       in the box and looks at me,
for a moment—
       Once, a couple years ago, 
this kid was looking for a fight 
        and   I wasn’t…
he turns to the back seat
   so       I kicked     this,     
                               to intimidate  him. 
       I guess all those years 
of karate paid off. 
      He drops 
          the top of a broken parking meter 
                                   in my hands.

             I believe him because I want to.

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