Jake Goldwasser

Is there anyone who hasn’t,
as a child, stood alone in a yard,
training one eye and closing the other,
toggling like a see-saw

to watch a log or a raised finger
dash back and forth, asking:
Have I been two people in one
skull this entire time?

She was left-handed, a body-double.
I went through my day alone, eyepatched
like a crowd: emperor of chickens,
god of gadflies and tomato seeds,

pissant of backaches and capricious
weather. By dinner time, I faced
an equal––scale descending
on a person not so unlike my own.

Sun sets like an epiphany,
heavy, ringing in its horns,
leaving the great crater
of night in its landing grounds.

And then the humanizing tumble
into a single bed you’re much too
capacious for, and the hearing
of someone else’s ecstasy and dread,

manifold, striving to be unified
like belligerents retiring
for an epoch or an evening,
sewing white flags into sleeping gowns.
Jake Goldwasser is a poet and cartoonist based in Iowa City, where he is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His poems can be found in Grist, The Spectacle, and elsewhere, and you can sign up for his newsletter here.

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