Natalia Wang

It could all be in my mind. But I’m sure
It was him next to me, us on the bus,
Clawing at each other for cold comforts
That ruined everything unspoken – the
Tentative, shared ache tying me to you.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw
You crunch at the sight of us on the bus.
How easy to presume, in the buzzing
Chaos of bodies listing, easy grins,
Crushed white claw cans littering the aisles,
That our seated situation had some
Predestined outcome. Wrapped in waves of sound,
Stiff backs against well-worn crusty brown,
What else could two sitting together mean?

This is just to say that I am sorry
I let my only chance drift from me, cut
The string of our gentle grieving into
A knotting regret by the numbing glaze
Of four shots just before. Now I plead
Not guilty to desires you misplaced.
That the trudge of his words tripped cautiously
Where yours melted me into a bright lake.
I know it’s not as simple as that and
My uncovered footprints don’t stretch the choke
Of time between us. So in these moments
Most malleable I want you to know
The coil still burns my hands, a snarled taut
Taunt. Waiting, if you ever want it back.

Natalia Wang is a junior from Chicago studying art history, studio art and chemistry. She feels most at peace when she is outside at first light or cooking for her family.