A break from work or school or anything
is a vacuum of everything I
already know: Holidays move
farther away after the fact or closer still before,
depending; a few minutes or an hour or
a drink or two devoted to everything.
The drive home is about 8 albums or so, a flatline
through Ohio and Pennsylvania.
If cameras still had great flashing bulbs I'd be up early the
next day sweeping glass out the door hoping the cats
didn't already hurt themselves - the new kitten I
haven't seen yet. He was "traumatized" and
Boo! is his name.
It was/is supposed to be easy. It's a vacation,
really. Bring the buds home to empty house for
The whole house I realize is much too large for the
three of us to live in we just
spread our sobriety thin over
the hardwoods, the teeming ashtrays, the thawing
They have as
scattered parents as 1, so we all feast
and smoke and drink and talk and sleep
over at my place for the weekend.
The coffee tables will never be the same I dream
at night fretting, alongside an
unfinished resume or a sleeping girl
whichever haunts me least.
But when you let one of your friends drive and you take the legless seat
in the back with
the car's only workingspeakers you know, you know you've
never been this happy.
is soul music or a cigarette
regardless if you and your friends are tense, still
learning how to love each other. Regardless
if you aren't happy, if you're ears are running
with blood from hip hop or
whatever's on next.
Getting back to your other home is like
stepping into an unfamiliar room in the house
you grew up in. This time though there
are electric pianos, beer cans and indoor
pumpkins, roommates having sex, laughing
and playingthe electric pianos and stomping
on the floors.
Attention: You are now 510 miles away from
the 10 lb. turkey you bought completely frozen
at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving that you thawed by Saturday and
decided you didn't want to deal with the guts
so you left it whole for your mother.
The woman at the
register, the bagger and the shopper who called my
friends and Ilout for beingcstoned shitheads
were all together softly laughing at us,
cracking easyjokes as we waited for the credit card to ring up,
as I realized there is absolutely
between a resume and a frozen turkey.
Wednsda, M rch12,008 - e ichgnDil . l
Business-clad and blistered
Business-clad and blistered, we're here to save the world with our bear hands.
Sharpen teeth and wit to bite words down to size and the ideas of them too.
I saw a man waiting for a train with a red hat and an ice heart, shattered and
taped, his shadow falling over the crests of sound waves and ocean ones.
Sip tea slowly, friend and don't let eyes fall until suns rise behind them because
there is work to do in separating yolks and giving order to unsaid things.
But here are the headlights and illumitory translations. Now maybe we'll see
the peace sleeping on a pile of yesterday's newspapers with a snowflake crown.
Now maybe we'll stumble down sidewalks and streets to meet this sleeping baby
Sing him lullabies,
Lay him rest in the curve crib of the moon.
R C JUNIOR
Life as a celestial body
earth must be maddeningly lonesome. yeah she's got us writhing about
on her skin but it's like gloucester cried out in blind bitter rage,
as microorganisms wriggling upon our skin are we to earth-undetectable
until the microorganisms breed chaos. but even the microorganism
duplicates, replicates, touches, reproduces. earth waltzes by herself
through a vacuum, never touched never wanting to be touched and she'll
burn you to a fucking crisp if you lay a goddamn finger on her.
her huntress, banished by that one violent crash that launched her
away from earth's delicate lapping shores, gets pushed farther away
from her love, farther away from her fiery embrace. earth's blazing
object of desire spins her around, drawing her closer then spinning
her away in some cruel tango. oh how she would love to feel the fire
press up against her own, oh how it would burn and oh how they would
both blink out so quickly.
my mom lay in the tub for two hours forcing me
to use the toilet before I go
in my Winnie the Pooh panties
I go, watching her use silver scissors to cut
her dark brown pubic hair into a straightvertical line
she blames her stretch marks on me
I think they're beautiful
makingshapes like I do with the clouds
I would get head lice all the time "from the kids at school"
she would yell as her hands pulled off all the infested bed covers
the Powerpuff Girls one and the blue dolphin one
she put on white clear gloves and started mixing Revlon Auburn hair dye
into my thick short hair, because it was cheaper than Nix.
every time she would threaten to shave my head bald
she calls numbers on the back of items and
complains to receive free products
2 laundry soaps (Purex and Domino) because it was watery
4 cigarette boxes (Marlboro) because they were stale
and 1 tube of Crest toothpaste
when the tip of her middle finger was slammed off
by a powder-puff blue steel door
she would rub the healed part on my arms and face
I cringed and laughed
my mother tells me she can be like all mothers and kill me
she miserably says "should've abandoned you ina dumpster."
when Christmas came along
she went to Salvation Army to get me gifts
she wears a black leather jacket printed with flowers
with navy jogging pants and K-Swiss tennis shoes hanging off her heels
I had new clothes, my red corduroy pants
that I would only wear if I wasn't eating or in the mud
she rubbed Vicks vapor rub on my legs when I cried with growing pains
made me warm green tea with milk and sugar when my stomach hurt
she let me call her a bitch whenever she called me one
From Page 2B
strangeness had caught up with
her, tapped her on the shoulder,
startling her like a stranger in the
night. "I guess I'll leave you alone
"No, I mean, it's OK. It's an OK
thing to talk about."
She laughed a mean laugh, her
eyes drawn taught as though she
was trying to humiliate herself for
her own behavior, "That's nice of
you to say, but I know this must be
weird. I'm sorry." She turned to go.
She goes, and as she does I want
her not to feel so bad. I feel bad for
making her feel bad. I try to reach
for her, but I'm stuck scramblingto
reach for her with the desperate,
overworked arm I've got as well as
the one I don't have. I want to pull
her back to hold her shoulder tight,
to tell her it's all right. I call out to
her, "Hey, hey come back. It's OK."
But she just keeps walking, and I'm
still trying to get up and out of the
When I get outside, she's gone
like winter. There is sun but it's sad,
clouded by all my many thoughts
of the wrongs of dead hands. The
sun rises, the sun shall rise again,
dead but burning, fueled forever by
the reversal of things, their voids,
I know what she felt then. I too
wanted to feel the void. I too want-
ed to see my arm detached from
me, distanced from my body, torn
to shreds like all the bodies torn
to shreds by my hand. I wanted to
make the loss real, so I had to force
myself to give up a real part, cut off
that consuming guilt with a ser-
rated kitchen knife until the hos-
pital finished the task I'd so aptly
ruined. All this, just to keep mov-
ing, living, breathing. It's always all
those little things.
-Beenish Ahmed is a
Residential College junior