by Matthew Stokdyk

the ethereal sounds again
as i am crosslegged on the top bunk
back leaned against the concrete wall
painted white in the fifties,
now an ivory cream.
there is a bourdon in the back
solid, firm, like the cheap mattress
on which i am perched, freshman.
and above it undulates
a great many unplaceable sounds:
a woman’s voice (not yours,
though faint and trembling
like when you first sang for me)
not the wind but an echo of the wind
and the sound i imagine stars make;
and in the room, the sound of lake ice and fever.
trying to meditate but really half-asleep
never one for it before, but you
brought a reality i couldn’t process
in my endless processing,
the spiraling that leads me wash my hands
that leads me count the breaths
count the lights in the rooms
where i sit and scribble an A test
but think only of what it is you’re feeling
for him, in love with you and you with me
and me with him and you with him
and you with death and me with
all of it.

Originally published in the Daily Cardinal on August 14th, 2017. Annoyingly, they didn't put my name on the poem on the website.

Matthew Stokdyk © 2018. All rights reserved.