I close my eyes and see a room, blank walls and only the light switch.

I talked to my mother for so long today. Oh, how we long to be in the womb.
Hot tea: we can swallow the warmth, or a bath: we can swim in it.
Darkness with light coming through another surface.

We see flashes of static in the sheets as we tuck ourselves in. Our thunder.

Racing toward truth, the heart feeling its own feet.
Awareness of its limbs only because of another’s. Somehow, you chose me.

We are the beginning and the end, never ending through always ending.
Inertia. Sometimes any kind of rebellion’s enough.

What was the city like without me in it? Was it soft or did it scream?

The poem comes barreling after me. I want to be hers but don’t know how.

Strangely, when I think of high school I think of one name,
one friend I barely knew. He saw me. He wanted to drive me home, in a nice way.

The Harringtons giving apples and us giving back apple pie. Trading metamorphoses.

This is how we are: a shorthand for everything, even our own histories.

I’m terrified of something, I don’t know what, but it makes me feel strong.

Waking up next to you with the light pouring in, my God,
the way you warm my cheek and we can’t tell
whose limbs or stomach rumbles are whose.

Searing comfort, blinding heldness.
The way the dot of sun burns on the smooth black fountain.

The all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle.
Marvelous each time to release it: the soft lurch, the breath, the rain.

You chose me. Nothing is forever. We always have more space.

I am always looking for evidence of change; a new leaf on a plant or a new freckle.
How we jump and point it out, even just to ourselves. As if change will sustain us.

How harrowing to love the self if not through the flesh of another.
The violin balanced between my collarbone and chin, held, but also holding,
your skin, and then the fort bedsheets draped over us, softly, ghostly,
thick porridge traveling through my being, warming it.

Bodies, and then more bodies, orbiting around each other—
beckoning, touching, then spiraling back out into space.

A good poem or conversation is a mirror. Looking in, too long, too hard, insistent.
Fingernails sifting through blackheads, digging for a better view of the night sky.
Brought back to the smooth oil, our skin so platonic in the bathroom light.
Enough secrecy for love, enough ugliness for comfort.

The room is empty except for the light switch. I only see one corner of it.
It is not frightening, so I am not frightened.

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.