Home for Christmas Break,
Freshman Year

Not born to speak this absence of a tongue,
she leans into his doorway, tries to say
something he'll answer. Break won't last too long;
has he seen such-and-such old friends? Do they
still live in town? His answers—short—make clear
she merely skims the surface of his thought,
a water insect, legs just denting sheer
integument. She has not slipped the knot
of past. His focus is the laptop screen.
Its light alone illuminates his face
in the dark bedroom. He and this machine
seem joined. (She wonders: combat or embrace?)

“A snack?” She tries the trustiest thing she knows.
“No, thanks.” Her failure absolute, she goes.

Maryann Corbett

If you've any comment on this poem, Maryann Corbett would be pleased to hear from you.