Poems from Columbine: “Infatuation”


She’d be nearing middle age by now,
the girl all over Dylan’s journal
whose name the books all black out,

the girl no girl wants to be, loved by him,
the boy she would never write about herself
unless she loved nervousness and decay

or was taken in by weakness and doubt,
her head anxious to fantasy by the thought
of what his touch would be, or his secrets.

She’d be nearing middle age by now,
not knowing – it’s assumed she never knew –
what her presence every day at school meant

to the one who wanted to blow it up,
the one whose face and body at least gave him
a giving pain, a generous yearning,

a buried pleasure of what love could bring
in between plans of pipe bombs and planes.
It’s not clear they ever even spoke

and he no doubt would have been unable to,
a girl not in his head but in real life
who also had every frustration

and wished for the warmth of a similar mind.
She’s in her house now or a traffic jam
and when she remembers the shooting

it’s two kids she didn’t know that make her sick;
she doesn’t know that the way her face still moves
or how she gets in or out of the car

or how it is that she begins to speak –
she doesn’t know what any of these meant
for the one whose last weakness was for her.