It was a creative writing class, they said, but I should have known the minute the instructor got us to sit in a circle in the sparse, unholy grass that this class wouldn’t change the way I see the world at all, and the guy next to me started his poem with “it was a bright, sunny day,” and then all I could think about was please don’t start that poem with the weather, I had a good feeling about you.

The clouds felt juvenile and my poetry was damp with reason. I couldn’t stand any of my own words, so I sat picking at the dirt and wondering what it would have been like if I didn’t like writing at all, like what if I was an indie rock band drummer who didn’t understand any of her own band’s lyrics but was a kickass drummer anyway, until the guy next to me read his poem out loud and I loved it to the last literal line and its lack of metaphors felt perfect to me and suddenly I didn’t want to write any other way.