Mak Carnahan

Moonless, sunless dome,

Sinking under smog and smoke

Where grudging extras drag their feet.


We circle snow white cottages

On London Street near the reservoir,

Passed a house we were kids in.


I wish I were perched on the decorated

Mantelpiece, embers crackling under my toes

As you tear through neatly taped parcels,


A waft of bacon sizzling in boiling oil.

But now, syrupy heat wave slowness

Abandons us on cracked-bone pavement.


“You’re an interpreter, I’m a pattern searcher.”


Looking in gardens of Blue-Eyed Grass and Wild

Buckwheat, stock-still as I try to

Memorize you.


Maybe you were a writer once.

Maybe you lived in halves to give them two,

Receptive to the unforgiving touch of strangers.


But you collapse in cushioned bar booths

Reeking of liquor and Marlboros,

Unheard over clinking silverware and strange,

Delicate laughter

Mak Carnahan is a member of the Northwestern University class of 2026.