To the man on the 7 bus, headed north.

When you look up from your newspaper to ask what’s on your mind, there is so much I could possibly say. I could lead with: Dear stranger, I am back here. I am back home, but it doesn’t quite feel like it.

Dear stranger, there is so much that I miss: the way the Seine glitters at night, the dewy grass of St James’ Church, Cooling between my toes, the poster-plastered walls of the Underground. But I mostly miss myself.

You see, dear stranger, something changed after Oxford. I left my body in so many places that God himself lost track. And so every night in Austin is the same. A death in the arms, or in the memory, of another. A disappointment.

Dear stranger, there is so much I could possibly say.

So I say nothing.

About the Author

Nooshin Ghanbari is a senior English and Plan II Honors major at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was recently awarded the 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities for excellence in poetry. When she isn’t writing angsty poems, Nooshin can be found singing her heart out in countless choirs on- and off-campus and camping out at the many great coffee shops that Austin has to offer. Her work has previously been published in print and online in the United States, England, and Wales.