Ancient email spoke slowly of nothing, and I gifted you my ignorance. Mi piaci, I sent. Et tu, Google translate? Stabbed in the back and shot through the chest, I couldn’t see your face. Blinded awkward. Soon enough, buzzing nerves, a rapid knee, a typed note composed: Would I be the Annabeth to your Percy?
Were you him? Disjointed. I thought I was. Disappointed. No, Nico is my mind, so search not for gold strands here. Awkward was my disjointed mind. But to the note was a yes: a tentative bid for undeserved affection. 42. Mi piaci. Copper tellurium, 2952, a green heart glowing on a screen of nervous hope.
Summer we spent on the bus to parades, playing a couple and Rock Paper Scissors. We chewed gum in line for the creaky Ferris wheel and chickened in the clouds, then on the bus, again grew brave and kissed. In the dark I sang with my stereo heart and you laughed “Liar” to honor my elusive voice. Awkward together, we worked, and there was no place I would have rather been.
School shoves into our summer and we die apart, you and I, two nerds in a sea of raging jocks. Too shy, too young, crushing awkward; I wouldn’t hold your hand.
No pigtails to pull so you stole my pen and poked my shoulder. It was cute until it wasn’t and then it wasn’t and it wasn’t and you wouldn’t give up, but we didn’t know how to flirt, and there were eyes watching, teasing, everywhere, and I wanted to hide.
You tried so hard, glass full of air. I’m sorry. Lo siento. Mi dispiace. I’m so sorry.
It ended as it began: a mistake. I was cruel. I know. I’m sorry.
A year-late apology is worse than none at all. I’m sorry. You moved on. I’m proud. I’m sorry.
You always ran. I always hid.
Martian Jester, maverick joker, my first and last and only love, love is big and we were small, and my heart is a desolate wasteland.
C’est la vie.
About the poet:
Dorothy Zeisler is a freshman and an English major at SUNY Oneonta. She graduated from Charlotte Valley Central School as Valedictorian after attending an Engineering Program at BOCES during her senior year. She has since liberated herself from Calculus and Physics and is resuming her plan to be a creative writer. Dorothy’s ambition is to write and illustrate her own books, since being a hobbit, Jedi, wizard (Hufflepuff), demigod (child of Hades), or Starfleet Officer (specifically Spock) weren’t options, but so far she still lives with her parents and their cats.