Time Capsule: Summer, 2001

Benjamin Goldberg
| poetry


It’s night in a subdivision whose name fills your ears with


and you’re sitting in a gazebo whose ivied trellises you’ve never


in this shade of streetlight, and you’re busy being midwife

to your bipolar, which rips through your helixes and enters the


in the shape of you. Sitting with you is a friend named after a


you’d rather live in. You sit until midnight becomes your skin—

until she’s holding you to the bench by your shoulders, until the


your skin quits holding you in. In fact, the fact of you is a tent


rusting in Eden, and it quits, too. After this memory dresses

only in hyperbole. She says a breakup isn’t enough to break

anything that wasn’t made for brokenness, which, whatever it


makes sense, because the clouds break, and her lips taste


like soil from the places they describe. Tomorrow’s the art fair.

The only way to blend in with this life is to wear plain white


and buy a different stain from every tent. She suggests a


to match the new insides: a fedora made of green felt, a feather,

a leather pouch she fills with rose quartz, tiger eye, and


(she knows the effect of each stone on the shape she’ll take),

a belt to tie it around. She picks out an earring made of faux


A troll with silver hair and plastic diamonds in its navel dangles

from it.

She says all you own should be able to hang from your earlobe.

Benjamin Goldberg’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2014, TriQuarterly, West Branch, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. He received an award from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and was a finalist for the 2014 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest.

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