Two Poems by Tara Laskowski

Metamorphoses I am thinking how the leaves fall but I never see them until they are a gathered pool at the base of a tree- like the very second a waterfall becomes solidified, a moment we will never see until it is finished, the once-lively ripples silenced, halted in a frozen pose meant for winter’s camera. We search for moments of transition, classifying out lives like meticulous students, highlighting significant memories to make them less intimidating. A skeleton of a dark roller coaster finally exposed in the light reduces its terrifying twists and turns from an unknown beast to make a structure of steel and bolts. Perhaps what changes us forever is a gradual process, profound and unnoticeable as the decay of a tree or the rusting of a child’s forgotten bicycle left exposed under the wooden deck, until one day the emptiness is not as severe, your voice a consuming symphony reduced to one note played occasionally as mere sentiment and I can smooth the bed covers with confident hands, drift like snow into dream.
Crush After the night I overdosed on poetry, I woke from a dream in which words ran through my hands, leaving salty paper cuts. With throbbing fingers I stared up at the dark ceiling. Where sticky, glow in the dark planets had hours ago lost their light, wishing I could write you a song. Not a love song - but one which you could sing on a rooftop as the sun sets, skimming rooftops, sucking a last drag from a cigarette. On dark ceiling I played out the night we confessed our mutual crushes over glass of rum and coke, wondering if there was a poem in the way your damp fingertips pressed against the small of my back, and you breath tickled the hair behind my ear as you asked me about my boyfriend, 77 miles away and sleeping under the same plastic sky - one on which a faceless girl from a time before me spelled out “I love you” with stars he’d never bothered to peel off. The words, only symbols, always lose their shine, that spontaneous, heartfelt gesture now as crusted and brown as the melted stars - meaningless and silly - a song heard too many times. Tara Laskowski