“When My Book Arrives” by Julia Guarch

——after Sarah Kay’s ‘The First Poem In The Imaginary Book

If you were me,

I would be desperate to see my mark
in your carefully crafted characters

see the hint of life behind the flat lines
wrapped in metaphor and dressed in gauze

compressing our late night quarrels and solitary panic
into the tip of a pen, the strike of a key.

I would long to see your words rearranged by the orange
prescription bottle, blocking the sunshine from

degrading your stanzas, from charging your misery
into your line breaks.

I would listen to ‘Do I Wanna Know’ one more time
before closing this book and placing it

next to the textbooks I never sold,
the photos of past friends, the souvenir mugs, the event shirts I’ll never wear again.

Next to us,
I’d lay this book to rest.

Julia Leslie Guarch is a recent graduate of Lafayette College. Her poems appear in the 2015 Issue of The Marquis (Lafayette College’s Literary Magazine), the July
2015 Issue of Rain, Party Disaster Society, Issue #12 of The Vending Machine, the fall 2016 issue of Sunset Liminal, the first issue of Pulse/Pulso Anthology and issue 8 of Triadæ Magazine. She was the finalist in the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award, co-won the MacKnight Black Poetry Award, and received special mention in the Jean Corrie Poetry Contest. She is also polyamorous, demi-pansexual and woman-aligned.