It took me a second too long to remember what car you drove. That’s when I knew that the day I feared most had finally come.
This summer, I read a lot of poetry. I bookmarked all the poems that I’d wished you’d happen to stumble upon one day. There were times when I’d pause; times I’d reach for my phone and be so close to snapping a picture, so close to sending it to you.
Impossible was it, that Lang Leav and Iain S. Thomas did not know us. Did not know our story, before sending their transcripts off to the publishers. Sure, they didn’t know us. But our hearts, our phantoms- they knew.
They knew them so well, I wanted selfishly to keep those perfectly transcribed emotions to myself. Frightened was I to share my emotions in the most tangible form this word has to offer. Frightened of what you’d say.
Or wouldn’t say.
You know, when I used to read poetry, listen to songs, I’d picture my favorite movie or theater characters among the beautiful words. I’d paint scenes in my head, creating stories of love, of trial. Using the characters in my head was all I knew.
Until I knew you.
Maybe, one day, you’ll find yourself at my bookshelf. Maybe, one day, you’ll find yourself reaching for those poems. And maybe, you too might find the ghosts of our past selves haunting those flagged pages.
I fear you’ll meet them. I fear you’ll find this. Yet, I also fear that you won’t.
As You Drift Away
My thoughts are a novel
written in an extinct pen for which you traveled time.
But skills go unpracticed,
a language can dwindle.
You struggle with words of mine.
I cast my rod,
feel the slightest tug, a
nd reel and reel and reel.
Only to find
the line is eternal.
The current is all I feel.
Perhaps I should not have feared
the day the details would fade.
For the phantoms seem happy, almost content. P
hantoms who turn at the sound of our names.
Nikki Liv Basas
Nikki Liv is a (bubble-loving) second year at the University of California, Irvine. At times, she feels as if she is an anachronism, feeling the need to time travel by immersing herself in Shakespeare’s poems and binge watching period dramas. Still, she knows she is right where she should be when she stargazes at 2am, visits art museums and coffee shops, goes on adventures with her friends & family, watches and performs in musicals, sings for mass at Saint Patrick in Rodeo, and annoys her dog, Gigi. Hi, Gigi.