Suspending Inferno

by Tiffanie Dzietror

          after Audre Lorde’s “Hanging Fire”

I am twenty-one

and my hair has betrayed me

the boy with the long dreads and the Jodeci pick up lines

screws  everything that walks

except me

how come I love writing but

cant finish any writing

what if IIII die

before morning

and my roommates in her boyfriends room

and comes back and just thinks im sleeping

I have to get my grades up

before the next line

and I cant fit all my crap in my bags ever

always got a sore shoulder

and if I drop out and default my loans

they’ll surely come for me

sometimes I want to get away and

others I just want to stay

and really just go read a book

in my nook on the third floor with no one


and my roommate will return from the beach

and still think im sleep

and ill wish things were different and someone

saw me but ill go on believing it’ll happen one day