Boys Overheard While Playing a Video Game

Kaitlyn Von Behren


after Mary Szybist’s “Girls Overheard While Assembling a Puzzle”


Amber’s boobs were practically escaping during

Bible study today, did you notice? Hey, I’ll

check the safes for ammo— don’t

die. I swear, every Sunday the

evangelist’s daughters wear less clothing. Not like I’m

fucking complaining, though. Switch your

goddamn gun. No, no, yeah, that one should

hold ’em off. The sister is pretty hot, too. What if

I go for Amber and you go for her— what’s-her-name?

Jada? Jade? Whatever, doesn’t matter. I heard she’s

kinky as hell. Refill your ammo, quit trying your

luck. Maybe the two of ’em would watch a

movie with us next Friday, probably

not unless we have something to smoke, though. They

only fuck with druggies — you just have to

pick ’em off. Just choose somebody and shoot him. This

quest sucks. At least Cecilia’s back down to nine a gram.

Run, dude, run! Look for cover, Jesus! No wonder you get

shot in the back so much. Think you’ll finally get to

third base? Just ask if you can slip a few fingers

under her skirt, I dunno. She doesn’t seem like a

virgin to me. I’m just going to spray paint everything. I

wonder if they’re into Vicodin, maybe

Xanax. I have a shit-ton left over from when my

younger sister had a meltdown. Crap, where’d all these

zombies come from?


Kaitlyn Von Behren is a nineteen-year-old poet currently studying English at Ripon College. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Oakland Arts Review, Canvas, and Wisconsin’s Best Emerging Poets 2019. Her poems have also been honored by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and Button Poetry.