Astrophysics for Beginners

by Jessica Lohafer

I just went prom dress shopping with my little sister. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1.) Her and I have totally different styles
2.) The dresses really haven’t changed in the last seven years
3.) The mall is a horrible place
4.) I love my sister

All good lessons. I can’t believe she’s old enough to go to prom. Her senior prom. I need to keep breathing deeply, or I’m going to freak out. Or cry. Maybe both, the night is young. At any rate, to continue with the theme, here is poem 4, of 30/30. This one is for Elisabeth.


Day 4

Senior Prom

Midnight blue, ruffles
your eyes greet this dress with the same disdain
I normally reserve for politicians promising to
protect the sanctity of marriage,
you aren’t buying it.

You try it on anyway
an attempt to appease your older sister
No surprise
you still hate it
Shrug it to the floor and ask
if I could for once consider your ribcage.

I am not good at this.
Think of you as much smaller
Us in the living room
Me, desperate to care for you
but clumsy,
singing the only song I knew
over and over again
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
even in the springtime

You put up with me then too
shrugged and kept listening
you didn’t have the power of speech yet
But you stayed with me

I can not offer you much
Will always talk mostly about my own life
reveal intimate details that make you
wildly uncomfortable
You will consider astrophysics
I will write about my feelings
The same songs,
over and over again
stay with me.