to the men in my life / on letting go

The night I met him he played me guitar

I watched his fingers pluck the weathered strings I saw the

world in his fingertips


His room was bare, just the guitar and his casket

He plays the part well but

he's just a boy who was kind enough to look at me

like I was something more than broken


He smokes a pack a day, he says it helps him think

or maybe to forget

He didn't taste like cigarettes It was a breath of fresh air as

I run down the hill

and leave my thoughts behind


Now he passes and stares

I tell him I am going to church

He says don't pray for him


I want to feel the way he

feels the world through his fingertips

The way he glances and smirks

a cat finding it's next target He sinks onto his haunches


I keep trying to say something

but I think I lost of my use of english

or maybe he did, long ago

the day he ran to the fields and sank into the wild flowers

Now, we speak in foreign tongues

and we are far, away from home


And I remember it all now,

even when I told him I forgot

even when I saw him this summer

and I said we were fine

We both knew we weren't

I just wanted so desperately

to be okay again


To speak is to pray for him

To be silent is to lose




Elsa Baxter is from Amherst, Massachusetts, and is in U0 with an intended major in chemistry. Typically a visual artist, this marks her foray into the world of poetry. In her free time, you can find her reading, hanging out with friends, sleeping, or a combination of all three.


Collage by Elsa Baxter.