How I am doing in the version of my life that I imagine when I want to escape the thought of running into you at the AMC Theater on 4th Street

I own that mansion, the one near the beach
with the floor-to-ceiling windows, the walkway lined
with statues of men mid-run as if frozen
at the moment of their first step away from their prime.

I am holding a party, and in one of the rooms

is everyone I remember for the worst things they’ve done,
and in another, everyone I remember for their best,
and in the halls, the remaining, who I never loved enough to choose.

The white walls watch. “I gave so quickly,”

I announce, “to you all, then took so much back
when knowledge, like quicksand, devoured the wings
of my desire when it flew too close to the earth,

but I told myself I would trust what was ugly
until it made me ugly. I was the judge.

I was the jury. I was on trial.
I was the jury. I was the judge.”

Written by

Andrea Camille D'Souza is a graduate of Princeton University where she studied Operations Research and Poetry. Her poems have been published in Tilted House, Agapanthus Collective, Olney Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can visit her on Twitter at @animalcamille.
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