Open letter to the boy with the red umbrella
I have never kissed a boy in the rain. These are the smallest
things. I wake up in another country and my hands are cold
and I will never understand how to live like this. Something
about my white shirt, soaked through. The way you turned
around and pretended to know my name. Do you want this?
I'm almost home. Questions with no answers. The right way
to accept an offering. Red umbrella in the rain. I understand
how to fend off ghosts. I understand how to read the Bible
without letting it mean anything. You followed me through
a city and I didn't know what that meant. We must always
be careful. White shirt in the rain. People watching people:
a sort of performance. I'll admit that I was scared. I'll admit
to most things, as long as they'll make me seem more human.
Admit that most of us have no idea what we're doing. It feels
too honest to be wrong. Analogy: I am a wolf and I founded
an empire. I am a fox and I skinned a rabbit. You will never
know, but I am so thankful. There are things that I will never
be able to repay. Things you will never know. The umbrella
hangs in my closet and someday I will give it to some stranger
in the street. Signs of life. A thick blue rain. We are all so safe.
Talin Tahajian grew up near Boston. Her poetry has recently appeared in Salt Hill Journal, Indiana Review, Kenyon Review Online, Best New Poets 2014, Columbia Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, and Washington Square Review. She's the author of half a split chapbook, START WITH DEAD THINGS (Midnight City Books, 2015), and serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Cambridge, where she studies English literature and attempts to assimilate.