a poem by Isabel Newcom, Junior English Major
I knew you once,
In a dream.
Hazy fog settling over
Our blank, lifeless living room
Like the mist that settled over the lake
On that night you turned your face
To the stars and knew
Wanting to live was nothing more than a piss poor destiny.
Life support is just a blinking
Red button that you stared at endlessly
With your unseeing brown eyes -
Or were they blue or orange or red -
Wondering how hard you would have to pull
To bathe your glass face in darkness.
Your life felt like a mosaic:
Ridges of broken colors fused together
Under my trembling palms,
Yet your glass face existed
Without a single scratch,
Without a single defining feature.
Just glass warping the light of
A blinking red button reflected in the past.
Had I known you back then,
Fell to my knees in front of you and wailed
Like a mother who lost a child in a bloody war,
Neither of us could have survived.
You would have choked on your hate,
And I on my love.
Where would that get either of us but dead?
One look at your empty, stoic face,
Too young to ask and too young to tell,
Would have broken us both like fine china
Shattered against a linoleum floor.
I never knew you, and you’ll never know me.
So, now, all I can say is,
“I knew you once,
In a dream.”