The Night Before

Claire Shoyer


Fifteen minutes late still feels
On schedule as we back out
Into the matrix of miniature rain droplets
Frozen in free fall.  I see
How the afternoon fog gives every light
A bleeding aura that expands
Like the inhale before a sigh.

Hours tumble lazily into each other and still
We play our slow, soft game
Of follow-the-leader, trailing behind pairs
Of demon eyes that sometimes wink left
And sometimes wink right
And sometimes glow with startling
Hellish passion.

I look toward nights that start early
And push the boundaries of afternoon,
Evenings of boyfriend button-downs,
Loose socks and drinking straight
From the bottle.
I will forget the word for routine,
Sitting and waiting for the sunlight
Through the window to turn my skin
Pale like the petals of tissue paper flowers,
Left out since last year.  


Claire Shoyer is a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and a potential communications major. At Penn, she is also on Venus, the women's club ultimate frisbee team, and she is training to be a CWiC public speaking coach.