Poem by Caitlin McCormick ’17
“Skip two at a time,” they always said,
go straight and don’t worry till the light changes:
there is no shame in love notes and truth serums
the dichotomy between magic
and buildings in the sun
glowing like vinegar bottles
on your mother’s kitchen counter
They were never all that different.
You see, we learned it by bookmarked knees sitting on
the uncomfortable couch in the guesthouse, a silent film
melting on the television. We’d had enough of walking to 7-11’s
in the dark for candy, carrying candle sticks and
bottles of water as weapons in case of emergency
Anything is dangerous if you will it.
I am not one of the rejected,
but I knew them once, in the biblical way:
which is to say I gave them a place to sleep
some straw on the floor, a hot dinner at a table.
At dawn their steps woke me
and we huddled down the stairs to the empty street.
We shook hands, tried to make out stars or planes
and when the street lamps turned off
They started walking.