“We Learned We Are Gods,” “Freshman Year, UAF: Fairbanks Fall of ’92” and “Downpour in the Height of Summer”

Issue 25 by Sara Dallmayr

We Learned We Are Gods

At eight years of age, we became creators of the universe

We made models of the galaxy with Styrofoam balls

A gritty marble-sized mercury

A sun with rays on the bus floor

Jupiter a fist of moons

The slumped crown of Saturn

Johnny did 100 pull ups that day

The puff of his face rising and setting

The kick of his spindly bent orbits

When earth rolled off the desk

It went under brad’s foot

Who crushed it under a converse

The plague of elementary duality:

The dust of our planet sticking to an old sole’s

Sour milk underside in a blaze of parabola

All the way to the little boys room

And back again, when we realized

We had all outgrown our seats

With our sprawling limbs.

Freshman Year, UAF: Fairbanks, Fall of ’92.

Darkness: The whiskey-filled chasm

between the hard swallow of night

and ice-fogged hours of daylight.

Light: Long morning ragas,

the sinuous trails of sitars,

a monsoon of tabla.

Roommate: Star Trek in the tucked corner

of his room. A frameless bed.

Soft words in Bengali.

Final frontier, last frontier.

Choices: his hand brushed the side of my breast,

fragile as a drop of water on a lotus petal.

Holding my breath, willing more.

Witness: sky surface was a mood ring,

an electric ribbon of green

coalesced with obscurity.

Aurora made noise when she moved.

Confession: Sanskrit, etched in sand

near some foreign muddy riverbank.

To speak with regret would be untruth.

Birth of the English Major: I wanted to say

forgive me.

Your words were delicious

So sweet

And so cold.

Effect: The ripples you speak to me will crash

into the brief shoreline of my life

for years to come. They have worn the stones

smooth.

Regrets: None

to speak of.

Result: Every plate in the kitchen is dyed

with turmeric. I think of you,

and the miles of skyline

between us.

Downpour in Height of Summer

All at once, she wondered if the solution was inside

the friction, layered between the cloudless blue and wrestle

of grief, which pinned her to the mat more than time

and time again with its terrible pounce and cruel count of minutes.

She watched another boat lilt in the currents in vain attempt

to right itself. The people inside were saturated in truth,

slickers bright as lemon or a child’s crayon outline of the sun.

The leaves bore crude witness, aware of their ephemeral

return. The terrain shook a bit. Quavered.

She pulled kernels that glowed from the weave of light

just outside the window, as the wind struck blows

and stroked the tall grass so hard it was trampled.

Unsure of what is right, mostly, devoured due to location

and ease, not for any real sense of hunger. She wondered,

To stand erect amidst the smell of wet plastic, stretch, and ask

what am I doing here? Again? One tear spun into another,

a slide into the pool around her shoes. All these flavors,

to choose to be indigo, why bother. The curtains parted,

in slight, and she paused long enough to witness the rays break

through the grey churn of thunderheads, the inevitable

gift of rainbow. The boat on the water began to drift.

About the Author

Sara Dallmayr

Sara Dallmayr was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended Western Michigan University and received a BA in English/creative writing/poetry and has worked a variety of jobs including park ranger, administrative assistant at a community development nonprofit, library substitute, professional petsitter, and post office rural mail carrier. She hopes to attend graduate school for creative writing in the next couple of years.