tomorrow. part ii, smith

quite often he lies to make things more believable

than they are.

he likes to make things more believable

than they are.

and it is more than pretending:

it is a way of making the world soft


the snow isn’t cold

(but the temperature of your childhood bedroom)

the wind doesn’t bite

(but it purrs and stretches, and waves at your legs)

the clouds are actually made of marshmallows

really, it is all very common

since he gets up at seven,

and is at work by nine,

and drinks coffee,

and counts the days till the weekend,

and is sick of those morons from the accountancy,

and eats stale sandwiches from the cafeteria because he can’t be bothered to cook

and his name is smith.

it used to be different:

not the name, but what the name means.

being sixteen feels as close as the shirt he is wearing;

he must remember.

he must, since under the layers

he is soft

embarrassingly white

and there is no aim.

then his mother calls.

some cousin is getting married

green and white, bad food, sniffing relatives at the first, second, and fourteenth pew.

there, there is the skilfully hidden question,

the ticking of clock,

the wistful sigh of a middle-aged woman aching to be a grandmother.


it is all very well for her,

but no, thank you.

no, thank you.

(that idea is the scariest thing imaginable.)

but it works.

slowly, it works.

so when he meets this one girl

he thinks that might be it.

perhaps, he can learn

perhaps, anything is possible


perhaps, this isn’t so scary at all

(yes it is

yes it is

yes it is)

he will be oh so careful,

he’ll tell her only the true things

he’ll be silent most of the time.

it feels like a countdown

to the end of the ends.

it feels like standing naked in the snow.

it is the best feeling in years —

this freedom to offer


it takes forever

he’s waiting for tomorrow.

— Katariina Kottonen, November 24th, 2010

The Epic of Lappeenranta

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