The Secret History of Dorm Room Beds

by Meg Zulch

Courtesy of  dani-darko.tumblr.com

In small college dorm rooms,
where the square footage of space is sometimes hardly enough
to contain your own body

 

Your small twin bed serves as the center of your world
where you sleep, eat, fuck, cry, and talk.

 

As you transition into adulthood and life with a college degree,
the only piece of furniture to your name,
the only property you have full access to,
is this dorm bed.

 

And so the history of you,
the journey through your formative university years
are practically written in these very sheets,
sheets you admittedly don't wash very often.
Mostly because it documents many firsts, turning points,
a place where you can wrap yourself up in comfort.

 

It is here that you had sex for the first time,
got drunk with your best friend for the first time,
kissed who you thought would be your first serious boyfriend,
smoked a bowl with the first girl you ever dated,
where you first perfected winged eyeliner,

You sat here,
nervously gripping your blanket and phone
as you told your dad you like girls

You sat here as you conducted your first interviews for real-world publications,
when you interviewed for your first paid writing job

You laid here, beside your partner post sex, and said, “I love you”,
for the first time ever

You've sweat out fevers, and stayed here all day with bad hangovers and mono

It's here where you masturbated when you thought your roommate was asleep
here, you hid under your blankets and chose to lose yourself in Woody Allen movies rather than your own consuming anxiety


Here, you laughed when a boy you weren't interested in asked if he could cuddle you.
"Like a child" you remember.
You scoffed at him and told him never to ask something like that again

It's here where you discovered the importance of asking,

Here, where you were assaulted by a controlling and untrustworthy partner

It's here where you cried over a broken heart

This is where you escaped to during a show at the student center,
cried into your best friend's arms over all the anxiety he sympathized with
and all the pain that you wouldn't share with him until years later

Here, where you've had the epiphanies:
that you deserve better,

that you must take action,

that everything will be okay,

that the world is more open than you thought

 

You lay here,
in the ghosts of sweat and cum stains
among the weed nugs
stray food crumbs and rogue hair ties
a pair of panties tangled around your bedpost,
and despair over the idea of leaving such a relic of your growth

and pain behind when you graduate in May.

These sheets will be packed away soon, even thrown out.
These pillows will be replaced with fluffier ones,
the blankets discarded since they only fit twin beds.
This bed will be taken apart,
put back together again,
and somebody new will laugh and cry and eat in this bed,

just as you had.

 

Much of its history will be forgotten,
but you will be reminded in little ways throughout your life,
here and there,
when you see off white bed sheets and twin beds that are too tall to climb into comfortably,
you'll smile at the memory of watching porn and eating vegan pizza with your best friend
in a bed that looks just like this.

 

You'll sometimes remember that your adult self was born in this bed
but mostly you will forget,
moving on in the world a wiser and more fulfilled person
whose past baggage was unloaded
and left behind in a small and cheaply made fitted sheet
that you bought from Target freshman year of college.

The Secret History of The Light In Us

by Morgan Martinez

The light of you
is so soft
I can see
your headlights
from a mile away.
The light of you
the light of me,
floating.
Imagine this
softly,
I meet you again.
Somewhere.
Softly,
carrying you with me,
Imagine this.
softly,
never being without you
again.
The light of you
the light of me,
moving through
dimensions of I miss you
and accepting
without you,
somewhere,
softly,
I meet you again.

The Last Time I Saw Summer

By Annie Zidek

This summer, the sun beat down, but its love beat down even harder; it was like Sofia Coppola directed the minute details, but my body did the rest. Girls and boys played games we’d seen in films, and the midsummer heat felt all but hazy. It burned. There are scars. But that’s what summer is, and you don’t give up the fight. Here in the empty time lapses of October, I’ll tuck in small poems from June, her masterful hands slitting throats, from July, his hair caught fire in the afterglow, and from August, her voice echoing through six countries.

 

crystalized hearts chase Mars at dawn

their sun soaked tresses leave trails

of forgotten lightdust on the road

and at night lightbugs

make love in the brush next to the street

the setting moon is our war call

and we shriek

and we scour

until there’s no one left to fight


 

 

lapping milk out of your hands

before it seeps through the cracks.

the wolves have already kissed

the blank space between my neck and shoulder.

they’re painted crimson with my blood:

my fingers in the alpha,

my toes in the omega.

I’m in more than two places at once;

I’m dancing past pink houses

and prowling past babies I’ll never meet.

orion, what have you done?

now my bones are merely rattles

for the male ego while the snow

sits stained with my fidelity.

tame these beasts with a thread,

stitching decency and formality into their paws

so each time they step

their bodies ache with weight of their knavery.

 

 

the days are wine: sweet, hazy, smooth.

we sat in nervous grass and swam in eager rivers.

our blood is too sweet,

so the mosquitoes kiss us—arms, lips, thighs.

we ache for weeks with red welts of love,

small reminders that parts of us are so easily taken.

like a canned peach, the sun swells

bulbous and fruitful in a hasty sky.

standing atop church spires during golden hour,

I watch the sun cower.

I’ve never seen someone leave earth so quickly,

and now the pregnant moon reigns with summer hymns.

naked bodies and think air:

this is July.

Don’t look back at June;

she carries a weight no man can handle.

one of her nights, they used ice from saturn’s rings

as machetes and slaughtered those

with curved spines and restless sons.

amorous lips and amorous hands and—

mmf—those german lullabies lull me into promises

i cannot keep.

we are walking on the rubble of dresden:

charred, unsteady, guilt-ridden.

but we are humans, eager for touches

and broken toes.

ignoring pocket watches and bedside lamps,

we mimic schiele’s “lovemaking,”

with disfigured lines and steady colors

bleeding into the white with our confident hands.

our jaws will start wars

and our knees will buckle under

and we will be collateral.

there won’t be an armistice;

instead our mouths will be lined with canker sores

and our countrymen will rot with us in enamored skin.