To April, or the Wheel of Fortune

To April, or the Wheel of Fortune

You will meet him one summer, or one winter, it doesn’t matter

What matters is you won’t see it coming.

He’ll come crashing in like treefall

An avalanche of foliage as life,

Ancient and long-forgotten,

Floods in wet and bright and new.

You’ll set everything on fire just to let him through.

These things needed to burn anyway, of course.

You are growing a different forest now

but I need you to know it was there before,

it was only waiting

for force, circumstance, or this.

I won’t call it love. I’ll explain later.

But you’ll thank him for it, as though he’s the Fate that binds you.

As though an afternoon spent laughing in the sun isn’t actually yours,

Just the way his light refracts, bounces off you.

It makes you look good, doesn’t it?

No wonder he calls you radiant.

He’ll show you a song and it’ll be like you’d never heard music.

Play his half-hearted chords while you lie there watching.

You lived 19 years without so much as knowing his name and

They’re nothing in the face of this.

The way he sounds on your tongue.

I won’t call it love. I’ll explain later.

I need you to remember something.

These things you see him see in you  

the potential, the first trembling verse on the page,

They were always there. They always will be.

I’m telling you this because Fortuna is fickle

I’m telling you this because I know what comes next.

He has a Scottish summer’s attention span

Do not resent your family for bringing you home,

Thank Fate, not him,

for sparing you of an alternate scenario

In which this, not love

Either never happened,

Or kept happening.

You’ll let his friends stay on your blow-up mattress

He’ll hold you for three nights

Disappear in the morning

to undefined numbers of new things.

You’d never imagined

That silence would be the spear to pierce you.

You who are so loud it makes him, them, wince.

You will look for him, not him

The him feeling him again

in empty evangelists

radical bookshops

train stations and acrobats

manufacturing chemistry


until two years later

you’ll run into him again

and he won’t recognize your face

I am telling you this because I need you to know

that this is not love

I told you I’d get here eventually.

I am sorry it wasn’t soon enough to push you out of the way of this collision

Protect your youth for Ten more minutes

The Wheel doesn’t take requests.

This is not love.

I hear love is something that happens when you’re not paying attention

Less a forest fire and more the gentle breath

Of a really good conversation

Maybe it even feels like, for once,

Things don’t need to spin so quickly

So when you finally stare across from him

Watching him meet the next girl you once were


You are the poet not the page

the Earth not its rotation

Hold hands with me, repeat:

He is not love he is not love he is not love

You are.



Show up.

Show up.