January 26, 2011

hello 2011
it’s snowing tonight,
that glorious sort of snow that
glitters on the ground
like handfuls of the
colored sugars i used to decorate
Christmas cookies with my grandma,
standing on a chair at her kitchen counter.
walking on campus,
it seems drawn to my face
landing in pinpricks of cold on my tongue
gathering on eyelashes
melting on my glasses, in spangles
so the whole world shines in shades
of dreamsicle and silver
the Pru is hiding behind a curtain
of ice and fog, and my world feels
insulated, for a moment.
i’ve been feeling a little bruised
on my heart, on the edges
for the past week or so.
dreaded coming back here –
this place that makes me so miserable
(perhaps i shouldn’t say that;
isn’t MIT a dream school?
…but it is true)
goodbyes were at once
so exciting, and so painful
115 days until no more countdowns
no more expensive plane tickets
no more airport tears
but still…115 days
is a pretty long time, from this end.
ready for the rest
a new home, new friends
you know.
life is at once changing dramatically
and somehow, still the same
and i –
well, i’m not really sure how to feel.
in the space of a month, i’ve
reconnected with Paul
(if you can call it that)
and then, just today – had an email
from a friend i wanted to forget
but seemed to fail at
and of course, now it seems she
won’t let me.
well, so the world seems go to
maybe i’m doing the right things
maybe i’m not –
starting to realize that
(obviously) there’s no guarantee
there’s no guidebook
there’s no safeties –

just me, and, well
i suppose that will have to be


January 10, 2010

wet bare footprints on hardwood floors
sleeping house,
pink toes and mist rising
from my naked shoulder blades
water glasses on bedside tables –
Micah left his just there,
still mostly full,
with bubbles along the edges.
he’s on a plane right now
somewhere over the Atlantic
on his way to Spain
too far away from me.
yet i could swear,
he’s just stepped out for a moment –
he’ll be back soon,
pulling me down into warmth and softness
soft heartbeats beneath my cheek
and gentle hands on my hair.
no, i know i’m only fooling myself.
he’ll call me sometime in the middle of the night
though it’s morning there,
in four days (less than)
i’ll be on my way too
to Paris for the springtime,
to a school i’ve never seen
classes in a language i don’t speak well
an apartment still unrented
with a roommate i’ve never met
in a city i’ve visited once before –
but hey, what is life if you don’t take risks?
and we’ll have Valentine’s day in Paris,
for the first time in months
i’ll sleep with him through the night.

December 5, 2009

things to write about:
– the first snow
– losing Ginger
– going to France in the spring
– the leaves are gone on my tree
– my room smells like Christmas, candles on my windowsill
– a fireplace, a lit up tree, a blanket, and a boyfriend
– engagement rings (engagements?)
–  the end of the semester

but first:

two 10 page papers, a 5 page paper, a 10 minute presentation, and three finals.

a flight home

a chance to breathe

October 31, 2009

went out for dinner last night
fajitas and rice, in a
noisy, crowded restaurant
my lab had a dinner, and i decided
that i was sick of letting my school work
ALWAYS dictate my social life;
i wanted to spend time talking to
Gretchen and Frida and Sonny
about things other than
examining the outliers for each subject
and building a Filemaker database for
it was the right choice, i think –
i didn’t get any work done last night,
but that’s okay.
i’m realizing –
i need to spend time with people.
when suddenly you notice that it has
literally been weeks since you’ve seen
your best friends, not because they
live far away or anything,
just because you are too busy,
and they are too busy
and life is too busy
when you suddenly notice that
there are 7 weeks left in the semester
and you can’t think of more than a
handful of times when you did something
just for fun
it’s time to break out, a little
and remember that grades aren’t the end-all
be-all of life.
so i went out last night,
and ended up having a wonderful talk with Sonny
who’s in the process of med school interviews
after graduating from Berklee and taking 2 years off
to do research instead of going
straight to med school.
he’s got interviews at Cornell, Columbia,
U Chicago – all AMAZING schools.
i asked him, “why did you take time off?
was it the right choice?”
and he said, “yes, yes, yes, and again, yes.
everyone i know who went to medical school
right after undergrad is tired – worn out,
feeling old, feeling bored.
taking time off lets you be a grown up,
lets you get out of the school environment
lets you relax just a little.”
so here’s the point of my conversation with Sonny:
i don’t know if i want to go to med school
or rather, i DO want to go –
but the fact that i am having doubts at all
is, in itself, enough of a concern for me
i don’t want to struggle through the application
process right now, when i don’t have professors
that i know well enough to ask for recommendations
when i don’t have time to study for the MCATs
and when i’ll be overseas during most of the process…
med school is going to put me several hundred
thousand dollars MORE in debt
(remember, if you will, i’m already at about $60K)
but i don’t even know if it’s what i want to do
because i want to do research –
medical research, yes, but do i need an MD to do that?
am i ready to spend the next 12 years of my life
working my ass off for yet another goal
yet another distant future –
i’m always working towards that;
i’m always looking ahead and i’m missing out
on the things right in front of me
my friends, my school, my city.
after undergrad, Micah and i will
finally have the chance to be together –
i want to be WITH him, not around him
spend time talking to him, have time to
relax and get used to each other.
i guess what i’m saying is –
i don’t want to sacrifice the things
i KNOW i want – Micah, a family, a garden
for the things i MIGHT want – an MD.

don’t panic; i’m not just throwing things away
Micah and i want to end up in Madison after this,
so here’s what i’m thinking:
find a Master’s program in Madison or Milwaukee
in something i’m interested in –
neuroscience, biomedical science, etc.
take a year or two to get a Master’s degree
and then in that time, decide if i really want my MD
or if research is what i really want to do,
and just go ahead and get a PhD.
or, what the hell, both.
anyway, i apologize for my
unpoetic musings;
these are just the thoughts in my head.
in other news, i have an awful week
ahead of me (test, paper, presentation)
but in just 6 days, i get to go home,
finally, and have a magical evening
with my family and with Micah
pretending i’m a princess at a ball.
i can’t wait.

October 21, 2009

there, it’s over:
the aching,   pulling,   hurting – –
ripping off the band aid
he’s gone.
it feels like he just left the room
maybe just stepped out to brush
his teeth, straight, except for
those two in the front bottom
criss crossing just a little
i always cry when we say goodbye,
even if it’s just for 17 days now
it’s never easy, you know?
i always say that
it’s true – when you come back
alone, wobbly, tired
wanting to bury your face into
the pillow that still smells of you both
but no,
there’s a test to study for
and emails to send –
all of those things you neglected
while he was here
back to the real world,
except this is the world that feels

October 21, 2009

Micah’s here
asleep in my bed;
those 56 days finally
counted down,
and we’ve spent the last
five days
now it’s the last day –
the sad day; the day when
i wished we didn’t have to wake up.
the sunlight’s creeping around my
shades; for the first time
my room gets sunlight in the mornings
he’s lit up, cheeks and shoulder blades
and pink ears
i hate feeling this way
not even wanting to look at him,
for feeling sad.
it’s easy to say that i am so lucky
but it is harder to remember
on days like today, when
the sun is bright, and i
have to say goodbye again.

October 12, 2009

my dog died on Wednesday –
i was shocked;
he hadn’t been sick
i wasn’t there, obviously
stuck a thousand miles away
my mother’s voice through the phone
breaking the blunt news.
my beautiful puppy, with those
sweet sweet brown eyes
and his whiskery eyebrows
and the way he looked up at you,
like you couldn’t do anything wrong.
when he was just a puppy, he was
already enormous
i was twelve when we got him, and
i remember pressing my face against his
thick black fur
and those enormous puppy paws.
so eager to please, and so protective
pacing on the shore of the river
watching nervously as the kids swam.
last night my best friend from when i was
a little girl, long ago
we’ve lost touch, it’s been so long
but her dad died in the afternoon;
she came home with her mother and he was gone.
i’m so homesick tonight i can’t think
feeling so helpless, because
i’m grieving here by myself,
and there’s nothing i can do to help those
who i love and miss and who are grieving too.
it has been 51 days since i last saw Micah
51 days too many;
this week, too much death, too much work
too much feeling sick and rundown
too much coughing and aching.
i don’t want to study anymore, even though
i have a very difficult test on Wednesday.
thank God, only 96 hours
until he’s finally back in my arms.

September 30, 2009

late, and tired
not-quite all-nighter yesterday
first exam of the year,
whirlwind days, running away
Micah visits in only 15 days
around the two week mark,
it always seems so close.
i think we’ve both been struggling;
waking up from unsettled dreams
vividly feeling arms around me,
though he’s 1200 miles away.
i’m up again, waiting for his phone call
so i can go to bed
with his voice, so perfectly familiar
so comfortably ordinary,
murmuring sweet everythings
as i drift off to another day,
one day closer.

September 25, 2009

things i can see from my window:
-the Prudential building
-the bridge
-the Citgo sign
-the Charles river
-Memorial Drive
-the sun
-the sky

things i can’t see from my window:
-my love
-my family
-my best friends


September 24, 2009

it’s a beautiful day today;
i’m sitting in Killian Court, and the sun is peeking
between greyish clouds.
there’s a nice breeze, and the river glints
silver and gold to south.
the leaves are already changing;
across from me there’s a
maple (i think), gilded with copper and scarlet
doesn’t feel like fall –
doesn’t feel like anything, really.
just waiting, and waiting
i forget what i’m waiting for.
for lunch today, a PB&J
crunchy peanut butter, strawberry jam,
nutty wheaty bread.
it’s almost Friday (again, already)
i’m just repeating myself
i don’t mean to whine –
but i miss you, so terribly much.
21 days is, as always, 21 too many.