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.