Synaesthesia Magazine Science & Numbers - Page 21

“Plate tectonics,” says the geology major.

“It drives all the Earth’s natural processes.”

I suppose a romantic poet would force this into a metaphor

about a girl, about how even something as seemingly whole

as the crust of the Earth has useful cracks in it,

and that’s why he loves her so much

(I’m a goddam hypocrite: I hate reading meta-poetry).

But I just want to love this moment—learning

the fundamental principle of geology,

the philosophy student doing a line off his iPhone.

soaked with mixed liquor and an excuse

to perform the same line in our own special way.

Yes, I want her to love me, but

I want everyone to love me.

I want every woman at this party

to have tasted my neck before she leaves.

And somehow as the night goes on,

I stop thinking about the hypothetical her.

“Slavery,” says the history major.

“Annie Leibovitz,” says the photographer.

“I don’t know,” says the personal trainer,

the economics student, and most everyone else.

“It’s okay,” I say. “It’s okay,” as if I know anything

about anything at all.

I ask some more questions from inside the pool,

and the singer-turned-writer kisses me just because.

I’m grateful.

This is where you laugh at me because

I’ve claimed to know something true, but I define

all these people by one thing they do—

I’m sorry. I promise,

for the first time at a party, I’ve loved. Everyone

is so goddam interesting, and I’m not trying

to get smooched.

And I’m sleeping on the floor by her bed

—in spite of the whiskey—

because I’m dead serious about not taking, see?

So This Kid Has Only Ever Read Salinger and Dostoevsky, and He Goes to This Party, Right?

Photography: David Schermann