The InBetweeners by Padmini Parthasarathy

insert themselves between

the married couples holding hands

in the West Village (they) step on cracks between slabs of concrete (they)


wedge wine between

sobering bouts of sobriety (they) sleep between

the right and left pillows on full-sized beds (they)


see the children’s noses peeking

out of their puffy coats with zippers

fanned out rendering baby tooth smiles in metal (they)


remember when (they) sat

on their mothers’ laps too (they) wonder

if (they) want to become laps to be sat on too (they)


marvel at how a conductor's

hole punches sound like trains

eating tracks (they)


wonder if their thoughts will ever be that seamless.

the (inbetweeners) have holes

in their right pockets where the seam splits (they)


try and determine scientifically

if the border between a white

tile and a black tile


is white or black

((They) fail.) (they) wonder why no one else

cares about the edges.


the (inbetweeners) are convinced

seven times a day for seven

seconds at a time that (they)


have thought a unique thought.

the (inbetweeners) remember

when every idea was a new one (they)


remember writing a poem in the third grade

called “Spring” and winning a prize (they)

wonder if (they) can win a prize anymore


for a poem called “Spring”

or if prizes are only awarded

for poems called “The (InBetweeners)”


because “Spring” poems are too simple to be worth anything.


Padmini Parthasarathy is a journalist based in New York, NY. She has been published in The Times of India, Huffington Post, Vitamin W, Tehelka THINKblog, Washington Square News, and on She likes adventures, stories, and adventures that lead to stories.