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It is All Half Lights* / Before Memorial Day

By Dylan R. Ragas, Crimson Staff Writer

It is All Half Lights*

The androgynous mind sleeps, it is
halting/halted, faulting/faulted —
C fears she might never know if she likes O,
Ever-rageful, stamping out calm like a boot
over mellow ashes, while lamp light pools sick and yellow
over someone else’s lawn, and C feels her throat:
purple, clotted. When C steps on the grass, nobody
congratulates her. Not even O, for all her novelty, and
sometimes, when C stands on tiptoe in that hall
of mirrors, she really can see her final figure,
the final girl where the reflections cease.
That final girl is O, of course. C fears her face
will never be her own, instead every feature
she has ever hated, every feature she has ever
loved — it is too dark, in the sky, and the vein
is embedded in too much skin, and
the bird’s throat too thick.

Before Memorial Day

It is early spring, with a kneeling night, and you
do not yet know. If only I could darn
socks, weave some cloth, be more tactile,
with textiles, lap up the cobalt night and
find it refreshing. In one month
I will be sore, no longer bleeding, stitched-up
to my final form, and you
do not yet know how the trees will
green, how there will be a pencil-yellow
bus, somewhere, packed with kids kneeling
over gray pleather seats creased like old palms,
weaving keychains out of plastic gimp, crying
when their mothers pour hydrogen peroxide
over scraped red skin, how a single squirrel
lies dead on the green air road
outside the woods, belly to the sky,
pelt pale like soft cheese. I prepare
for so much pain. I pair
my breaths to my pulse. Try
to drown myself in warmed static, shelled
music, but I find I am all clear-
eyed and cut greens.

*Title quoted from Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”

—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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