So I went to school,
and, once I’d learned to read and write,
waved goodbye to my classmates,
as I began scribbling in the margins
and then on blank white paper proper,
reading unassigned books,
buying magazines for everything but the pictures,
even scanning the morning newspaper.
I kept in touch, observed closely even
as they found jobs, got married, had kids,
dipping in and out of words just enough
to respond to the struggle, the joy,
the comfort of eventual predictability.
I was presumptuous enough
to plot the meaning on their behalf.
I changed the names, the circumstances.
I kept silent on the connection
though poems, for all their good intentions,
can never quite keep a secret.
We have lived in parallel.
They seem happy enough
even when my lines
would lead you to believe they’re not.
And I am content enough,
if you discount moments
of unrequired envy.
They live within the margins.
I take up where they leave off.
It’s all the same page.