she may be in love, or sub rosa sly
because she smiles every time he does.
greeting hello—lips up-turned at edges
their eyes seeking their next catch, hungrily
their shy fingers run along table tops
as they try to work into a hand-lock
or maybe they compete for the highest
price, mind-labeling items “yours” or “mine”
pretense of lady-like fragility
and gentility every gentleman
is accustomed to faking. ladies don’t.
just don’t. don’t bargain, don’t fight, don’t ask why.
gentlemen, reap well, lend your fists to words.
words encased, each afraid to set them free
they imagine internalizing money
consuming copper and digesting dollars
a greenery runs through them, peppered with
precious metals and debt-filled credit cards
the real prize is pride: knowing you can buy
that which makes others bone-dry, and poor.
In May, Spring had found me
She promised me new things
As long as I journeyed to the sea
To receive what she would bring.
I left my studies to explore
A place beyond my city’s walls
The countryside I did adore
And a river made by waterfalls.
I kept walking on
The simple road before me
Straight and smooth like silk
Lined with small pebbles and stones
Sun melting them together.
At its end, road becomes grass
I rest beside a mossy hill
Sky darkens as hours pass
Night bringing what it will
A stranger’s hand urges me to wake.
A man with sapphire blue eyes
Represents a new chance to take
A new adventure, a new surprise
I took his hand,
Though I knew not where it led me.
Into the darkness
I ran with him like a childish ghost.
I clung to a fallen angel,
Who planned to deceive his God.
We darted away like hungry lions
Eager to build our secret den
Dig it deep with open paws
Lay down a foundation of passion,
A bed upon which we will sleep.
“Once Spring is over,
You’ll have nothing left to lose.”
I never met such an evanescent beauty.
Let me sleep in your bones tonight,
Let me build a home in you.
My jaded mind remembers
That Spring keeps all promises.
I know no regrets.
“Stranger, what’s your name?”
“Don’t worry. Just listen, listen–”
The train tracks are clicking,
A steady allegro,
A tick-tock clock sped up,
Until metronome breaks.
Your hand around my waist.
My heart palpitates.
Sun awakes from sleep.
River flows like yesterday
I’ve been abandoned.
I must leave our den.
Cracks in walls peek and judge me.
Outside, a bird sings.
Off in the distance
There is yet another shore
“Come, come,” Sea beckons.
So closer I walk,
Sea desires a new friend—
I take a step back.
Cherry blossoms fall
They remind me that you left
I will follow you.
Dawn Angelicca Barcelona is a sophomore at Rutgers University. She is majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration, having studied creative writing in England modeling after Virginia Woolf’s daily routine. Among many things, she is a poet, dancer, and green tea lover. She currently works for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Follow her on Twitter: @DawnAngelicca