It was on the corner of Wilder on the way to the 7-Eleven 
             that you first stopped me in my tracks, and I didn’t notice 
the car that would have killed me zipping past until after 
                          you grabbed my arm, my ankle rolled and I fell 
for the first time, beginning an endless cycle 
                                       of falling and picking myself
                                                                        back up again.

Who it is that spins 
                          the gyre, riding the Zipper at the carnival fair, 
             splattering lights everywhere, your smile upside 
                            down, your voice loud and then turning 
around, saying that you loved me, 
                                                           you loved me.

And when we came back 
to Earth you bought a pint
of vanilla ice cream and I told you
to get another and we ate half of it outside 
the chapel where I once thought we 
                          might get married someday and you kissed me
and saved the other half for another day and forgot 
                                                           about it and it melted away.

Was that the same night we trekked up Rocky Hill in the rain? 
The night the stars went to hide and you
told me to close my eyes and to dream not of this place 
but the other, the one where we said someday, we would have 
             our own dog too, perhaps a cat, heck, make it a whole zoo, 
                          of animals we could never take care of. 
You had a lifelong dream in which you held me in every 
             shirt that I ever owned, I had a drawer full of someday, someday 
we would get the hell out of this paradise called 
             home, oh someday once meant that
             I would wear these sweaters and you would wear 
those jeans and I would forgive the things you swear you didn’t
mean but tell me, was that the night you cradled 
             my head and its dreams in your lap and asked me if 
                          I could see the stars and I said yes, 
                                                                                  yes I can —

But perhaps what I really mean to ask is do you remember 
             if it was my left ankle I rolled or the other, were the lights 
black and white or in color, was it that night 
or the other, the one where your smile was 
                          crooked and your eyes wanted something 
             mine didn’t, the night you didn’t take me home 
the way you said you would, where you twisted
                          my arm and watched me fall, you told me to close my eyes 
             and I 
let it happen, and was it vanilla I tasted on my lips or 
some flavor of fucked up 

Help me —
             I can’t remember 
if it was raining or if 
I cried, if there ever really were stars 
                          in my eyes.

Tonight I will keep my eyes open 
             to delay the dream in which you love me 
to see this place for what it is: 
When I walk down Wilder and see the cars zip by 
I dream not of this universe but 
the other,
             where the car hits and I fall and my neck snaps clean in two, 
this death and another, 
                                       this life and each other,
             god, what 
separates, this place 
                        and the other.

Writer | Madi Suh ’26 |
Editor | Evelyn Chi ’25 |
Artist | Tiia McKinney ’25 |