College Roommates

Strangers meeting in a cinderblock cell,
we unpack our boxes and neuroses
side-by-side, our nervous smiles stretched wider

than the distance dividing our home states.
Nine months hang like the broken light panel
crackling ominously above our heads.

The clutter of conversation begins
to bury our belongings just as leaves
start to paint the campus copper and gold,

and almost every night before falling
asleep, we trade poetry and film scores,
cynic and romantic: not so different.

As winter gloom settles in like frost, and
our radiator rattles on, we learn
the geography of each other's scars.

Imagine our surprise, when we discover
we stand at the edge of the same abyss:
fearing we will never be good enough.

By cherry blossom season, we sometimes
forget that we are not sisters. Last fall,
before we came to call here home, seems like

a hazy September dream. Bickering
in public, we pretend not to notice
how lucky we are.


A/N: June 16, 2010.