2:41 AM

We sat in a sun-stained booth

nibbling at lo mein noodles, and I

swallowed whatever ridiculous thoughts I could’ve spewed

to cure the disease that is vibrating silence –


like the story behind

the invention of doughnuts;

for some reason, that struck me

as something so significant that I felt

I had to tell you, had to bring it up,

but I never got the chance.


Squirming in the passenger seat,

I adjusted my position, crossing my legs and

staring at the sky for dear life;


my skinny fingers gripped the seat tightly,

imagining the windshield disintegrating

to mingle with that bleak, lonely-heart hue –


give a kiss and reassure

that you were being honest.


French manicures, eye paint,

and luxuriating in small talk over

chocolate delights

led into the moment when I noticed

my stomach pressing against my ribs

and I breathed ever harder,

staring out the blurred window –


it was so hard to concentrate

on distant train whistles and clutching my peace of mind

when I felt as though I could burst

into every piece I didn’t want you to see.


Driving home in the gray,

we were even less open than before;


your sleepless eyes focused ahead,

a tilted-head songbird

dispersing notes, stabbing the quiet

with self-isolating precision.


Clasped Tightly

the moon swam in

sticky shadows, tar ghosts

shivering against our backs,

and I tapped my fingers in

river rhythms to remind

your pulse of its



High School

The tiles of the floor encase me

in scuffed beiges and pencil

smudges; pity there aren’t

cheat sheets for life tucked

in-between the cracks. All that

I can see are quadratic equations

and love notes in looping cursive,

telling me that this place is

no longer where I want to be.


April 2, 2009

We sat in the dark,

munching on popcorn on napkins

(with more kernels than not),

dark soda fizzing in

red plastic cups,

and Charlie Chaplin

blown out of an Alaskan cabin

on the television.


Sarah Marchant

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