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Been thinking a lot about orange and blue.
Sun on brick and cerulean skies. How you’d see it
and from what vantage point. It’s feeling like
Romeo and Juliet, these days, all wilting iris petals,
damp scent of moss in the air, twilight, & I can feel
love waning, just like those two heady imbeciles,
clutching poison and knives and each other’s hands.
Your hand was always cold in mine. It was like
you were sick, already dead, as sun sinks below brick
and I can barely conjure an image of its face.
Sometimes when I’ve grown too tired I make wishes
I know I cannot back. On the cobblestone street
I’d be a girl, if I could do it again, flowing midi dress
in dark hues with the flowers on it. I’d do my hair up
with the strands that frame my face and I’d look
the boy in the gym-shorts in the eye and
he’d look back. We’d love each other.
Then I’d grow and I’d never veer onto this track
I’m on. Parallel lives, and separate.
Unscented, like cotton or old detergent. The world
caught in this twilight, the dying sun’s fingers clenched
in a death grip, in the living room the television blaring
in SD, pixels and warped saturation. I bake
a lemon cake. I put it on the nice cake stand,
the one my mother gifted me for a birthday.
Then here it is again—sharp air, pines in the dark green night
hitting the back of my throat, my fingers sticky with it.
What I didn’t know back then. I didn’t know.
The plaster walls grow clammy, sweat
or spit. From my corner window I look out
on the street. Cropped hedges and a blond boy, crashing
a cafeteria tray over a gray ceramic bunny. Shards
scatter and pierce into the tires of a passing
car. The window ledge tips even though I have not
drank anything since last month, when I told you
I don’t know, I don’t know, and you facilitated
the conversation. I thought I might see you
tonight, but I can feel my hands—I know
you are not here. From room to room I walk, the fallen lover
of a Greek somebody, and you will not see it, no,
you are not here. At the back door I feed
sugar cereal to a mouth within a mouth. It uses
its fingers to pick morsels out of a rubber jaw,
places them between flesh and bone. A man who knows
how to cover his tracks spits out of a passenger seat window
and other men laugh. I say 20% of the words I can think of
and settle for the settlement. It is Sunday, now.
In a different window I could be ordering
a crepe with candied orange rinds or spinach or swiss.
In a different window I could be not fallen but
reborn, with an audience, a knack for speech.
—Dylan R. Ragas ’26’s column, “Yard Sale Organs,” is a collection of poems that attempt to make sense of a past—real, imagined, but mostly somewhere in between.
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