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kitchen sink
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BooksFebruary 25, 2022

The Friday Poem: The Year I Spent In My Room Studying Repetition, by Maia Armistead

kitchen sink
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A new poem by student and poet Maia Armistead

The Year I Spent In My Room Studying Repetition

Once I was small enough to fit
In the kitchen sink. Lately I have
Been holding onto this thought. I have
Been holding onto it like water
And looking on it like a photograph,
Remembering where I was just outside it.
The thought is an empty space that echoes
With everything it ever held. It’s like
Realising you never considered what
You wanted until presented with
The question.

Once I was small enough to fit
In the kitchen sink. Did I outgrow it
One day, suddenly? As a child my Dad
Could sense sugar levels. I was never
So good at that, but I could deal cards
Faster than anyone. I could be quiet
For hours. I am always learning
These facts in hindsight. I am always
Leaving everything a little too late.
If I had been a little better, a little older,
I would’ve made you a coffee.
I would’ve caught you a fish.

I would’ve spread those silks on the floor,
Those blues and greens of countryside.
I have spent my life growing and
Waiting to feel that opulence, that
Abundance again. Waiting to
Pull something out of my sleeve
To give rather than steal, to feel
Something and say it rather than
Holding it in the drawer with the silks
And all those evil thoughts about how
Some people get hurt without you ever
Even knowing it at all.

The year I spent in my room
Studying repetition was a bird
Scratching on the wall, always
Telling me to be worse. The year
Was an evening walk with all
The windows in the houses lit up.
It was us standing judgemental in
The corner, faking proximity. Repetition
Is really obsession. It’s butterflies
Everywhere. It’s this house
Where the past and present are
Repeating all at once.

How do I ask to be told everything
That has ever been hidden from me?
How do I retrieve everything
Ever taken from me? That smallness
and all simplicity. When
Will I make the art that I promised?
When will I fit in the kitchen sink,
And raise the dead, and bring all
The butterflies back? I am studying
Repetition which is really asking
How to become okay with all of this.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.

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