For nothing was simply one thing. The other Lighthouse was true too. —Virginia Woolf
I had grown used to it all in one day—
the relative locations of brick buildings,
the unabashed jaywalking, daffodils
obviously gathered in corners, steady
under tourists’ probing camera lenses.
The abundance of white people and that
I wonder if I would’ve gotten used to those
marble walls, too. Light filtering through
like angels, pale and holy and too good,
half gothic half chic half majestic,
because a building like that
can have three halves.
I had written about this place, I think,
back in October. Here, let me find the file—
somewhere here— when I pleaded to be let in
Here like the lighthouse in the distance,
something beckoning me
to a greater existence.
Here. The words are insipid and brittle
dropping like beetle bodies through my eyes
one more time (and probably the last):
“A hum went through my body” when I
toured the Beinecke, I wrote, and other things too,
like “limitations inspire me” or “Ida Tarbell,
my journalistic inspiration.” Fuck me.
Don’t you really hate yourself sometimes.
(And apparently my admissions officer was all
oh her, she has to come, she has to come,
and for a second I’m validated
and the next it’s all what the hell do you know about me anyway.)
Maybe I had simply pictured myself in the sun
for too long
and it was no coincidence
I came here in a downpour.
Dreams are deferred sometimes
and stretched into debt others. You
repay those—not reap—with a gracious
thank you for the dream permit.
What if I don’t get a gut feeling, I’d repeated over
and over again to concerned or jealous
friends and my mother (possibly both
concerned and jealous). The whole truth is:
I had been scared of my gut feeling,
poking shyly into the highest chamber of my head
as I did into a lecture hall this morning, not at all
feeling like I belonged.
In tenth grade, I told Mom this boy liked me
and (not but) that I didn’t like him back.
She asked me why not and I remember
not understanding why she had to ask.
So now, feeling all Andrew Ramsay as he must have
sailed back. Feeling all glistening timelines collapsing
finally into one, reeling kneeling before
how unconcerned this universe is
and how I am the opposite.
Perhaps I ought to be
a little less so.