by Colleen Wuertz 

He told me he liked to stare at the pictures,

hanging on ghostly white museum walls. Spaced perfectly

like vertebrae on a spine the foundation of a divine


I replied that I would rather look out

of the window of a crowded subway car every

morning on the way to work. Unable to focus on

the blurred shapes beyond the glass, orange circles,

grey rectangles, black lines.

He said he liked the peace and quiet on the top floor

of the college library. And my mind flashed to the way

my breathing evens, at the sound of rubber tires

maneuvering wet pavement after the rain.

He laughed when I said sometimes I wish I could wake

up in a different city every morning. So I rolled my eyes

when he confessed he felt trapped by second thoughts

and self-doubt.

And he said he feels so free, walking home alone after a

long shift at the diner on the corner. The same way I

feel passing the graffiti covered brick walls

next to window displays lined with hundred dollar jeans.

On Saturday I am not aware, my fingers tracing the rim of

the glass in my hand like a needle circling a record. And

I can’t hear a thing at all, over the unanticipated memories.

He can’t hear a thing at all, above the numbness of his

over-eager thoughts.

Our demons they materialize so differently.

Burying themselves deep within your chest in the daylight,

ready to collapse all within you when the sun goes down

hiding behind the swaying trees.

He said he wished he could see the world, through anyone

else’s eyes. Because maybe then he would know what

it’s like, to escape a caged mind.

Colleen Wuertz is an English major born in Grove City, studying in Columbus, and interning at CD102.5. She’s still trying to figure out life in her ’20s and making things work in the meantime.