The Way the Sun SetsThere is light on the horizon.
If I faced east, I might have been up all night (as I feel I have),
staring at the dim glow of a computer screen,
scrolling through pages of notes,
and flipping the sheets of crumpled past homework assignments,
seeking answers my tired brain could not comprehend.
If I faced east, dawn would soon be upon me,
sun rays lighting the chapel steeple
that glows now in the spotlights' beams
against the cloudless navy curtains of the sky.
If I faced east, my brain would be buzzing with coffee,
swarming with words and answers and questions
I cannot currently conceive.
The world comes alive at daybreak, even for the sleepless.
But I face west, toward the setting sun,
the last hints of cyan light tinting the sky.
I face a night of tired eyes and quick distractions
that go on for far too long,
a night of long questions
and longer answers
and moments spent dozing into my tea cup.
I face west, toward the end of the day,
waiting for dawn
to bring the end of the night.
Statement of My Affections (several weeks late)Dear former housemate and sweetheart (also former),
First off, I wanted to say I'm sorry,
sorry I never said goodbye,
sorry I kept you waiting for six days
to pick up your things
(as if that minor frustration might make you call the whole thing off),
sorry I still have that photo (you remember the one),
sandwiched between the fourth and fifth acts of Love's Labour's Lost,
waiting to be mailed, even though it makes no sense
to send it to you now.
I'm sorry I didn't fight harder, and I'm sorry you couldn't let me go.
I'm sorry I couldn't let you go.
I won't say I'm sorry it didn't work out, this new… endeavor of yours.
I'm also not sorry that I called you fourteen times after I heard.
(It would have been twenty, but my phone died at fourteen.)
Thank you for not pretending your voicemail broke
or that your number had changed.
Thank you for never treating me as anything less
Thank you for not telling me I'm crazy and obsessive.
I already know I'm c
AnticipationThe present is sitting there, staring at me, and I'm starting to sweat because I already know what it is because Grammy always gives the same gifts, and I can't possibly fit another clown in the box that used to be under my bed but isn't now, on account of the nightmares I had after that creepy doll attacked the kid in Paranormal Activity, which I wasn't supposed to have seen, and just thinking about it gives me the jitters, but my brother left the TV on and I was curious and learned my lesson because now I don't even want to know what's in this package, even though I do know because it's got to be another clown for my "collection" and there's no way I can even look at it long enough to get it up to the attic, which is all spooky and creaky with spiders and things and makes me shiver (especially this time of year, when there's no heating up there), so I just know I'm going to break down and cry like a baby right here, but Grammy is watching and I have to be brave even tho
The Sum of InfinityI don't know if I'll ever tell my children about you.
(I don't know if I'll even have descendants.)
A family was never on my to-do list,
until you came along.
You made me wonder if I wanted kids, just so I could say to them
"You know, the day your dad and I met…"
because I thought we could last forever,
and I'm still not sure if we have.
Our friendship endures, even as I fall asleep
picturing her arms around you,
and I wonder if you'll ever come back to me
but spend every day noticing the reasons I'm glad you left
and hoping you'll return.
Never intending to fall in love,
we were an item
before you knew my name.
She reclaimed you,
you still belong to me
by virtue of the ampersand connecting our names
in the mind of every person
who watched us walk,
tall & short,
monochrome & kaleidoscope,
yin & yang,
through the winding, leaf-littered pathways
that are our life.
College ImpressionsAutumn arrived early this year,
suddenly—within the matter of three minutes—
a sucker punch
that couldn't afford to last.
Summer's efflorescence still bloomed
on the first day of classes
as the white magnolias filled the quad
and the denizens of the red bricked buildings
returned to their labors.
too many to quantify:
in the bustling pastel swaths of students
and the cool white dimness of the lecture hall,
hours of freedom
after the endless summers
of lethargy and monochrome
that fade with the last remnants of childhood...
curled midst the neon chairs and cushions
carpeting the floor.
3 AM board games,
the plastic rainbow of pieces
blurring through my exhaustion,
shuffling weary home
before dawn breaks pale on the horizon
past the last of the party rabble
slurring profanities that echo up the stairwell
chasing me to bed.
Black and gold banners
snap in the chill air<em>
ImpossibilityWe meet before breakfast every morning
just to get my quota out of the way.
She drinks steaming coffee without scalding her tongue,
while I blink the sleep from my eyes, sipping slowly.
Her scent hangs heavy in the air with the perfume
of sunbeams and birdsong
and the success of a thousand hopeless dreams, and
I don't know the colors
of the dress she wears, but I'm told
by the butterflies.
Our conversations are staid and brilliant
and can only be recalled
Her favorite activity
is herding cats,
but perhaps next week
it will be milking rattlesnakes;
Hers is the realm beyond paradox,
where nothing begins
before its own conclusion, and mirrors
only work in the dark.
We converse in our minds
about the state of the anarchy
as I pour another mug
and she thanks me through indifference.
She whispers pi
as she sits, idly tracing a straight line