Michael Vedder

I’ve always wondered how you saw the world,
So I took some time and a ballpoint pen,
Writing until the pen went dry
And my words became inkless paper indents,
So many questions I had to ask.

Was it looking through thick dusty church windows?
Or perhaps it was waiting at stoplights
Perpetually red at midnight intersections?
Was my skin made of TV static?
Was everything photos in darkroom baths
That never quite finished developing?
How many times did you wonder— who?
When you looked up and saw me
Did the words ever come to mind
Or did they just float and taunt you,
A snickered whisper as if to say no?
Did you look at your hands and forget they were yours?
Did time pass normally or sit down for afternoon tea?
Was everything scribbled-out stick figures
On child-drawn manuscripts forgotten in a bedroom closet?
Or sinking into unchlorinated pools
With the algae sticking and suffocating?
Was it sitting on empty elevator floors
Watching the numbers go down, down,
Then jumping from 1 to 45?
Was my face comforting, or mutilating?

To name a few.

I never dared ask.
The paper slumped forward in my hands,
Weighed down by the blue paste of my thoughts,
I looked into your eyes, and you looked through mine.
When my mother leaned close and you tried to speak
I thought I saw you crying
But it may have been a slight trick of the mind.

Michael Vedder is a senior studying Applied Mathematics and Mathematics. His hobbies include writing, video games, and playing the piano. He is from Phoenix, Arizona, where he spends his time complaining about the heat and looking for cryptids.