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Poem by Paul Jerusalem, Guest Writer
What they don’t show you on prospective student brochures
is the gap between each tile, how differently vomit tastes
on its plate, how quickly it dries up, how you’ll grow
immune to its scent, eau de toilet not in the right
place, much less the specifics of each note:
the first to evaporate is the head note,
the sound of your parents doubting you
when you said the liberal in liberal arts meant
liberalis, an education worthy of a free person,
not that you’d be free from supervision (they
were right). Next, the heart note, you lying
to yourself, thinking you’d be more social less awkward
when you go to uni, later discovering this promise
was kept only under the influence. Last, the base notes,
more stubborn than A&F perfume reeking of sin,
an insistence on faithful well-adjusted Christian boy
aesthetics, despite the convenience of tinder but never
the courage to admit that true love like your parents’
exists only when you stop waiting for it to come.
Nothing is more far-reaching than
vomit. Why spend all the effort trying
to write poetry, to convey your heart
when you can spew it out in a pule
without half the mental drain? Sure,
you won’t find your name in people’s
hearts, minds, much less on academic
journals that try to know you more
than yourself. But who needs that
when you can find yourself in chunks
on your floor, your bedsheets, all your
clothes hanging. The morning after you can
find evidence of yourself everywhere but the bin.
At least you’ll graduate summa cum laude in floor cleaning.
Paul Maravillas Jerusalem is a Singapore-born Filipino who is a sophomore from Saga College. Paul likes writing and tweeting trash about your favorite celebrity.
Open call for poetry and prose submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For submission guidelines, please visit literarycollective.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg.