Poetry by Grace Beilstein
I’ll file you away —
I’ll file you away under
the frivolous phase in life
that doesn’t fit into the narrative
rebel of ruinous affection,
attention in fitful waves.
Attention for you, my love, while
the story of me is carefully cut
between pages with blue-green lines,
my college-ruled ruin.
I repeat it back to myself
so the lines might contain me,
hold me in from spilling over,
emotional and weak.
We need lines,
where feelings distract
and the way you — oh you! — look at me
lingers and makes me forget
there is more to the future than you,
that the present flounders in
expectation for the hole you’ll leave,
the existence that needs folders
and little red exclamation points
for the people that matter to star themselves—
to say, hey! don’t miss this part,
you’ll regret not loving more
than any heartbreak.
Our world says it must.
Fuse burning inside me,
my mind wandering to worry
how it might all end,
how many years I might think of you
laying in someone else’s arms.
I can’t count on strength
when I see time as the rigid, stubborn line it is,
me, sweating and screaming,
trying to twist it into a loop
that leads back to you.
I’ll file you away
in manila that smells of old smoke
and sandalwood — you, oh you —
and once it’s over,
with enough time,
I’ll convince myself
I’m right to pronounce us dead,
watch the helpless flat line
and shove regret back from its ponderous margins.
Margins that bend and reflect the light,
Margins read through tears.
Grace Beilstein (she/her) is a student at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas. She writes flash fiction, poetry, and prose. She is one of three main editors of her school's award-winning literary magazine "Falcon Wings."