Alana Folsom



You realize you can

capture the essence

of your memories

but not the details—

all disconnected

      stipples of      

                                          compliments    and complaints

      hallway talk

like stacks of wheat          like aging


catching some small golden sheen

before the nearing dark

curves closed.                                          



it was the smell

of the wet concrete            on your way to the bus.


You don’t try

to understand why

you remember

what you do.

Say you begin

the comparison

of everything

you’ve left with

the torturous haze

clinging to the roads,

the city’s grey


You remind yourself

not to think

Is this my life?

and do anyway. Yes,

yes this is your life.

Time here moves

like a painting’s

light, not quite

still, but nearly.










I arrive in solitude       a suspended

pre-dawn                     You kiss me or

I kiss you         or we both do



We scramble up the woody hill

knees embedded with light

brown pine needles

and get to the top        fizzy

beers    the lake

through the trees




In preparation for the party

our friends practice songs

on warped guitars        nearly

getting the lyrics

while I run in whiffle ball squares

across the street with others

interrupted chords       blips

of laughter                   home run



I watch you tune your motorcycle

stopping and starting like a teen

heart    while I write this down



We wake early 

fuck quietly     smile

as the neighbor’s dog

talks to the green

morning on our bare thighs



We drive the whole way with the top down

        the memory of our first kiss

sits beside me as we round past

the storefronts on 95

more movie scene than a routine

trip to your family’s



I touch my cheek         the stars

visible              to your stubble

You squint

at me   then smile



At a rooftop bar in our favorite part of town

the night too early to be defeated

you try to tell me I’m strong

but all I hear is the part about my dying dad

and I become wobbly

from all the rum          all your love



We walk          as we do

There are muddy banks

of snow slung low along the roads

the lilacs are blooming and we’re thirsty

from all these miles of May




I watch two men kiss              win a game

your arm around my waist

gin martinis and lines              When will we stop

being young like this  the bass calls up

from the basement



In the morning             one person asleep

on the front lawn

            my flight in too few hours



Alana Folsom recently graduated with an MFA in poetry from Oregon State, where she founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of their literary magazine, 45th Parallel. Her poetry has been published in The Journal, Hobart, and Apogee, and others. Find her @axfolsom.

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