Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Porch Swing

By Foster Schrader (Semi-finalist)


Do you take honey in your tea? Do you read crime novels?

I want a porch when I’m older, a porch with a swing.

I want to sit on that porch and drink sweet tea and read John Grisham.


I hate when the sun sets, or I like it while it’s happening but not once it’s through.

Breathe a little quieter, honey, for me. It rattles when you inhale, you know,

like a snake. The warning before the bite.


“We need to stop selling guns,” you say, and you take a sip of coffee.

I burn my mouth trying to agree.

I’ll stop making the jokes you don’t like, I’ll stop bleeding out loud.


We need to move to Montana, live on a farm. When the cows get old

we’ll send them to the electric chair.


I buy a new mason jar because I can’t stand the thought of spilling out the pasta sauce.

Don’t worry too hard about me, my sensibilities are too delicate for red sauce.

As if I could handle the mess.


As if you could reach me. As if you could bear the cold.

Does it hurt? Do the needles hurt?

The fire alarm goes off and my hair is still wet,

our breath steams up in front of us on the steps.

I don’t know how to ask what love is supposed to feel like

but I figure you would know.

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