Detail from Dirty Laundry by Jamie Heiden, copyright J. Heiden Photography
Detail from Dirty Laundry by Jamie Heiden

Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney

String Theory

The desire for a great adventure—
because I am tired of feeling lonely—
cannot be contained by conditions
of weather. Godspeed is just
another word for Good-bye.
I read a poem that began with “Hi!”
I decided I could improve on the move
from empathy to just being friendly
if I knew a few kind people even casually.
Like maybe there are universes
millimeters from mine where mentioning
feelings doesn’t make you needy.
Operating at the intersection of
polite request and sheer desperation
I say “I quit” but quietly. To myself.
Right now, in real life, I’m a slight
satellite circling a star that’s dead
like a terrible song stuck in your head
until replaced with an unterrible one.
Verily, life is one long unbecoming
welter of blood and arrows, winding
up nowhere except here. Hi.
“Hi yourself,” said someone I admired,
an overzealous stranger.