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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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