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

gut otherliness.


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.

More dart-and-


should I