Jules Bourbeau ’25
I. I was thrust into the world far too early
& I still live inside that rift in time.
I desperately tried to catch up:
to make time slow down for me,
though it rattled over me relentlessly
in the convenience stores and lobbies
So I got ahead where I could –
sometimes I fell behind.
I only wanted to be better.
II. Two days after my birthday,
you went into the hospital.
They told us your arteries were blocked
& I knew you may die.
Propped up in a drugstore
on the way home from the hospital,
blinding blue cleaning fluids,
concrete backroom bathroom.
III. I left when you seized up and asked for help.
I’m sorry. I ran behind the hospital into
the woods, crying because
I abandoned you,
I may lose you,
I was five years old again
with my own sickness,
stranded in an endless maze of
IV. I climbed over the cemetery wall
onto the path to College Pond.
Heavy plum quilt of clouds,
dry grass & droning wind hum.
Stormy indifference as I raise my hands
to the sky & feel that I might fall over.
V. I watch the sunset from the bench,
clumsy turning pages through thick gloves.
Perfect mirror still water reflects as
a chorus explodes from above:
Geese with fiery red sun bellies
leave me behind for the winter.
VI. I try to watch the sunrise
to find a reason to stay alive but
The forest too dark,
the path too frozen,
my legs too sore.
I consider falling asleep,
freezing to death
or using my pocket-knife
to cut my wrist.
But a small instinct tells me that
I’ll never be found here,
not for a long time.
So I crawl out of the woods
on my hands & feet.
By the time I reach my street,
the sun begins to rise.
VII. A sense of crashing doom draws me
back to the pond. The sun
ascends to greet the moon &
I notice otter tracks
on the boardwalk. I feel
as if I’m closing a long book.
With an apocalyptic calm,
I accept the news.
VIII. The waters constantly shift
new contents ashore. Framing
a swimming goose with driftwood,
shallow detritus dense pools.
Could my own body lie beneath?
A small island pushes off from the shore
& sets afloat for the opposite side.
IX. Painted turtle and bark stripped branch
look the same underwater.
Cracked open, showing gold beneath –
kintsugi. The sun warms my back
face-down on the boardwalk
& the water is bluer
than I’ve ever seen.
X. The forest erupts with green as
algae dots the pond’s surface.
Flowers burst between the boards,
far off weeping willow mists.
I vow to do better, dance to the wind.
I won’t be here again for many months,
but as the sun comes out, it seems to me,
the entire world has begun to bloom.
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