Mar 30

stone arch

if i was a stone arch,
that little stone in the center
who holds everything together
would collapse
under the weight of
all the pressure i feel.
 
in second grade,
i write. i make
up stories about families
with lots of children and pets,
who live in huge mansions,
while i look out the window
of our apartment waiting
for the kids to come home on the school bus.
 
in sixth grade,
i’m now two years ahead of
everyone else.
i’m fitting the homeschooler
stereotype of “omg ur 16 & u have a phd!!”
but the next year i start fifth grade-
a step back or the right stone to add to
the arch so it all balances perfectly?
 
eight grade now. absolutely the worst
time of anyone’s life.
tell me about someone who was
actually happy in eighth grade and
i’ll give you one of my kidneys.
some friends stay,
almost all are changing
and by the time
 
ninth grade is here,
every friend but three
have been lost to the type of
teenager living that
horrifies me-
i solemnly swear,
i will never be like them.
 
but skip to tenth grade now.
the stone arch is becoming precarious-
there’s even more to balance.
i’m sixteen, i feel like i should be
making out with a senior in his
older brother’s range rover,
but isn’t that just what teen rom-coms
say you should do?
and besides,
kids who have range rovers
are stuck up and
i only like guys who possibly
speak Spanish and definitely speak
Italian.
do i know any who fit those requirements?
no.
but like the stone arch that
waits for a human to place it
together so carefully,
i will wait for a guy to
come to me,
saying, “irrrrris,
you are so gorgeous! you are so lovely!
every supermodel is jealous of the beauty that you
radiate!”
 
meanwhile.
i’m sixteen,
and i’ll be finishing high school soon.
which means:
college.
wait, no, that’s not right.
COLLEGE.
YOUR MORTAL DOOM.
scholarships, legacies,
trust funds,
gold tongues,
not enough zeros
to make the cut.
smart, sure,
pretty (ask my Italian boyfriend)
but is she right for our distinguished
university?
not enough volunteer work.
not enough sports.
no team spirit and
she can’t walk in high heels.
she writes poetry,
that’s so charming,
she wears clothes from
the thrift store,
but does she ever wash them?
too short,
nose too big,
gpa too small,
should’ve taken calculus one.
and why the hell
did she skip fourth grade?
 
like the stone arch,
i will eventually fall apart.
each stone that i imagine
holding me together
will drop to the moss,
and i will only be left with
dust
and regret,
wishing that instead
of building a stone arch,
i had simply read a book.

 
note: i think this poem is best when read aloud, so i added a recording of me reading it. :)

 
Audio download:
stonearch.mp3