swish pan

ok listen I know it’s cliche but when
they talk abt stagefright I think
of how ur eyes sear me down
like spotlights

and how on wednesday
u said something profound abt snapping
the scripts in half n sucking the
heat from them, n i just sat there
like a Dumbass n thought abt how

You pulled Her from the ground up
And I don’t even know the story

but if i did i would string it
between every campus window
like a clothesline, drift in the wind
with the fabrics and tightrope-balance
on the lattice you wove Her into, and i

wouldn’t be afraid to fall,
or at least i’d be less afraid than i am
to look at u. because when i meet your gaze
i can feel the world shrinking and when you
walk across the tile floor i push my palms
too hard on my laptop and it almost
falls off the table and flips into my face and
There You Are Right In Front Of Me bridging
the soft space between us with your beams
and i die right there in the middle of the starbucks dreaming

that when you see me
shaking like a gold sieve
in the shadow of your smile

the bits of river grit in me
that catch the light
are shaped the way Hers
started with.a

About the Author

Tess McRae is a poet, artist, and sophomore English major at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is in the Humanities Scholars Program. She has created almost 500 poems since she started writing five years ago, several of which have been published in Teen Ink magazine, and she managed her award-winning high school literary and art magazine for two years. Tess dreams of designing and publishing a collection of her art and poetry someday when she is not overwhelmed by her outrageously busy schedule, but for now is content with scribbling her creations into her sketchbooks.