Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Featured Author

Old Wish

Give me yourself in fragments

like I imagine hiccups would

if they could love and talk sweetly.

Completeness

circa incomplete things,

my mother,

and the grass too far from the sprinkler.

Give me yourself in broken bits.

Fragment as in okay.

As in clouds broken off from the source—

venturing off to burst on their own.

Thunderbird and soaked wing,

people that say “or else.”

I’d rather be sprinkled with whispers:

write me love-notes filled with all your best scraps.

Memory Like an Echo

I want you to feel better:

the malleability of memory making grief so perplexing,

an utterly strange pause—

how is mourning possible when memory is contrived from

past plus desire?

I am missing being sure,

or what it felt like to weep and know exactly why.

Exactly where?

 

Maybe memory has its own body, its own spell.

You watch it closely:

She is tall but she is loving,

I comb my hair until it breaks;

your freckles increase with summer.

 

An echo goes on indefinitely, I tell you.

Because there are so many ways to wait,

and even more ways to listen.

Perhaps, memory is what we can’t reach.

Summer Ephemera

I didn’t think I would miss it.

The way the sky crumples in the summer

leaving the hawks and butterflies

sprawling for their bedrooms.

The lovely taken out of heat,

the sky one big muscle,

cramping and cramping until we feed it

everyone we know who is remarkable—

the dandelions, my father, new history.

It’s the summer we love our bodies most.

We don’t worry what we are eating,

we stop crossing our fingers.

The cement hot and dreamy,

the birdsong new.

Soil cracked where the blueberry bush died.

It’s the way laughter sounds underwater—

I cannot tell if you are laughing or screaming,

hurting or remembering.

Small daffodils bowing their heads,

white bees tangled in the sycamore,

sun dust like dandruff in her hair—

I forget you are my mother.

It’s the summer our bodies become cyanotype skin

scorching into the under.

This way our stomachs are forever.

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