Our first in a series of Butler student dispatches comes in the form of a poem, inspired by our first three weeks at Shortridge this semester . . .
I place eyelashes on the flushing waves rippling out and in—
Turned over sailboats lost in the wind.
Powerful gusts puffed deep from my belly—
I am a cloud goddess, with cheeks that ripple like jelly.
You find me in the worn corners of our compassed map—
Eyes closed tight as my breath rap, rap, raps—
Like straining knuckles under rulers with crowned threes—
And I know my sailboats will grow feet like trees—
Sinking their roots into the sifting skin of the sea,
Unearthing small pearls that seem to be the key.
They float to the surface—fossilized dew—
And now it is up to you,
To plant them.
You had stood at my opposite corner, drawn circular and bright on our map.
Sun god, whose rays kissed my sail boats, and laughed.
You wrapped the warmth of your palm around them,
Smooth and soft—
Sunflower and Lemon.
And you made sure they were all safe—stringing my eyelashes to an invisible wire.
You strung them over your bright shoulders,
Heaved them through the maze.
You gave them wings that would never melt,
Because you felt,
Exactly where they needed to be planted.
You pointed them to a tree baring golden apples,
Asked them to eat until they were filled.
You told me it was good when they were satisfied—
They would roll out from the earth, with large bellies, when it was time to be tilled.
And I stilled, as I watched you—my breath hitched in my throat.
You told them how best to sing, even gave them the mold to make a note.
And we watched together, hand in hand.
Centered and finally in balance.
My ripples began to shimmer—your cheeks began to shine,
And there our eyelashes were eating, playing in the earth.
And I loved you because you believed,
And you loved me because I knew—
And even on opposite ends of the map,
We made something that grew.
Anna Zeller is a senior English Creative Writing major.