All-American Roommate by M. Wright

The midnight huffs from your linebacker
shoulders collapsing into the mattress
on your side of our dorm have stayed with me.

As have the desperate hangmen for help
lining the margins of your business
management notes, left on your study desk.

& I will never forget the phone call home
when you asked your mother if your sorrow is
sickness & I listened through the hallway door.

These recollections are mired in me
because my bed lay parallel to yours
& our boyish shadows shunned each other.

Did you drink the weight of my absence when
I walked late hours thinking that if I matched
the hue of my darkness with the pitch of

the night that maybe the meeting of two
negatives would heave my dimpled
body into something better?

Our fathers ignored us when we were weak
& we learned that fragile men
must not be meddled with.

I’m sorry for not meddling.
I didn’t know what to say.

M. Wright has recently been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Maudlin House, Barely South Review, and Temenos Journal. He is the winner of Weisman Art Museum’s Poetry ArtWords and was awarded second place in the Into the Void Poetry Competition. In 2017 M. will be one of the 24 featured poets in the Saint Paul Almanac’s Impressions series. More:

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