Darling, I love you. I don’t know
What I did but I’m sorry. Take me back
Give me what I want. What I need.
Let me slip my hands beneath the skull
And cup you in my palms, breathe a kiss
On your tender membrane, coax you to a place of pity.
Or, if you’d prefer, I could crush you like overripe fruit
In my fists, wringing for any creative juice
That remains. I imagine there would be none.
Oh, keep that ornery side-eye to yourself—
If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be in this computer lab
At two am, screen swirling into pixelated rivulets, academic
Thought devoured by the all-consuming garbage disposal
Of the It’s a Small World refrain. I’ve fed you endorphins
By slaving on the treadmill, forced down college cafeteria salmon
To offer you omega-3—what else can I do?
Perhaps fresh air would convince you. I trace
Up my cheekbones, over my temples,
Over each follicle. If I were to pluck each hair,
One by one, to let you peek out into the world,
Let you breathe,
Could that return me to your good graces
And get us into bed by three?
“An Open Letter to My Brain’s Remains” expresses every student’s finals week frustration.