Here is– the monument,
The bare room heavy with artifacts:
Strange velvet balls, stacks 
Of letters, papers,
Old journals full of hypotheticals,
And on the nightstand– “Theoretical
Linguistics”- idiot!
I hate her- hate that I still am her,
Curator, museum-maker, symmetry-seeker–
Placing knickknacks precisely, 
Making everything mean.
It can’t just be. It isn’t is.
It’s the whole verb synopsis: 
What was, and is,

and isn’t,
and was not,
and will not be,
and may not be,
and will not have been, 
and let it not be, let’s not–

Look here, let’s sleep just in a bed, just sleep.
I can’t. There is no bed.
There’s my childhood bed,
My childhood sheets, childhood pillow,
And here– my present-day head–
I put it down, am lying on the dead
Old nights that at the time meant nothing,
But now all were notes
In some long song–

One shove and I’d send it all crashing:
Books, miniature vases, the broken typewriter– smashed–
And me at the center of the detritus
Coughing in the significant dust…
I’ve read too many museum signs– “Do Not Touch”-
To try it. So the vases stand intact, 
With ashes in their stomachs.
I know whose.
I know the girl who lined up the jars
In a line, just so, who had to choose,
Who never let coincidence ruin
The meticulous tomb–

God, I’m ridiculous,

Reading the tangle of clothes in my room
Like the dregs of tea
(Jesus, it’s a pair of pants, it’s not tea)
Reading ceiling cracks like lines
In a palm– here’s the heart line..
There’s the life line…

The pipe leaked. That’s all. 
The plaster cracked. 
The dust has settled over things 
Just as it always does, and always will.
I have come back. I am me still. 
I will leave the old things as they are. 
I will leave the old things as they were. 
I will bring new flowers for the empty jar.
I will say me where my mind says her–

But in the night I slid from the bed, a symbol,
The moon was clear through the window,
Round as a cymbal,
I leaned my elbows on the sill– still:
I thought of things that were… 

Then a ghost rises from the shattered shelf–
In her nightgown, with wide foreign eyes–

Writer | Bluma Hammarhead ’26 |
Editor | Grace Escoe ’26 |
Artist | Amy Zheng ’26 |