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On the Eve of Homecoming by Stapleton Nash


I can’t get away today, he said.
I knew. I’d expected it. I bore no grudge.
And yet I felt a great sink into the mire of reality—
If it can still be called that.
This was my last chance to be young and stupid,
To fuck my life up, as I have been urged.
Now I will go home and begin cooking,
And reading novels, and filing paperwork.

Is it stupid, though?
I left home on an airplane and my heart broke with the parting.
Now I am returning home to that which I ached for,
And my heart is breaking again.
Forget home. Let’s disappear into Mustang.
Surely it can be done. Surely life need not be over
And I need not succumb to the life I always wanted
Before this.

I can see myself now, married to a man who laughs,
Raising my arms to the sky above the mountain plain.
My arms strong with scything, my eyes
Clear with desert sky. The sky’s wife.
A man said to me once, I’ll never settle in love—
The sky’s my wife. But it seems to me
A wife is either something to have, or something to be.
The sky is too large for any man to puncture her,
Any man in his body or his airplane.
As I look up into the sky in Mustang it seems to me
That there is no such thing as a husband at all.

I met a man from Croydon here.
He bared his soul to me
And I gave him my purple down jacket.
I won’t be needing it where I am going.
Why are we so obsessed with what is love and what isn’t?
Whether or not we are in love, or simply infatuated?
Every twinkle in the eye, every jump in the chest,
Even if it’s only for a few days—
Let it be love. Let it be love.

---

Though born and raised on Vancouver Island, Staptleton Nash studied in Montreal, and then moved to Taipei, where she works as an English teacher. Her poems have been published in The Mark, NewMag, Amethyst Review, Teen Belle, Lunate Fiction, Nymphs, and Castabout Lit. She can be reached at stapletonknash@gmail.com and on Twitter @NashStapleton.

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