by Caroline Stevens


Blue memory silhouetted
against the barrenness

of daily life—every morning
now with no one

to look at, not even in sleep.
My sex is dormant.

Longing a song lost
to the ground-clinging mist.

I've lived in many rooms
that belonged to someone else,

walls left blank,
their only movement

in the aimlessness of light
flung against them.

Like my Madrid bedroom,
its two windows framing

either side of the bed—
one could look straight

through me while I slept.
Or the room in Montevideo

with its balcony overlooking
the club where couples

in skintight jeans smoked
outside, reggaetón pushing them

towards daybreak. What I want
crests and falls. At times,

like then, it's to be fucked
over the balcony.

Or to purchase
a one-way ticket to a city

I've never seen and wander,
disconsolate, from café

to boulevard as if
a stranger will mistake me

for someone they recognize.
In transit, I transform into

part of the landscape:
bodies in stillness rushing

forward together,
our intimacy a theater

of not-looking. To lose
desire is to become foreign

to yourself. I lose and lose.
Mostly I want not

to be found out,
whatever that means—

it just feels like I'm always
getting away with something.

A fraudulent postcard,
a stolen champagne flute.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes