poem: nostalgia, not contrived

the girl sat in her english class

and watched the sky flatten itself against the university window,

like even the clouds are desperate to get in

and learn critical theory. she pulls her sweater over her fingers

and silently sulkily puts an earbud in

so she can listen to japanese indie and feel like

a living aesthetic, or maybe just a girl

living. and she remembers lying in the autumn grass

outside the university, back home, in the west,

and reading

The Portrait of An Artist As a Young Man

and it was still a contrived image, of a girl with curly hair

reading classics alone, so pleased

with herself, but somehow thinking of it makes her want

to cry, because if that time

was anything,

it was innocence.

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