Rob Colgate


In the field with you:
how the sprinklers turned
on. How you took
your hand, how it held,
then moved, then moved
me; how I held still
while it happened.
How it ended.
How I don’t hold it
against you; how I should
though while the field
sits silent. How instead
I am writing this letter
with the same hand.
How you used to rave
how I used to wander
how I still wander
and say it’s not about you
how it’s about you—
how about we try again?
How about not?
How about you knot
my shoelaces before
we go on our picnic.
Actually, how soon
can you return
my basket? You know
how I am a basketcase
how I am already under—
I don’t know what—
how inconsistent.
How consistent of me.
How I ate so much
chocolate cake
how I vomited
from the tulips
how the water
went over my head—
how am I still
breathing— how could you
let this happen— help—
hey— do you remember
how we split branches
for kindling that night
how we never checked
if the embers went out
we just slept;
how thin the bed was.
How I have since grown
thin, how that sweater
doesn’t belong on my body
anymore— how quickly
can you be over?
Take it back. Give back
my books. How many
have you failed to finish?
I hope you forget
how to read. How I wish
you would still read
my texts. And how dare
you watch my videos—
how fucking dare you?
How could you do this
to me? How much
camping gear I now have
how empty the sleeping bag.
How I never learned
to climb. How I never
want to now, how I want
to stay on the surface.
How have you never
seen a boat?
How I float alone.
How deep do you think
the lake is? Boy, how wrong
you are. How we watch
envy win; how about that?
How just because I am hurting
shouldn’t mean you’re not.
How I pray this shakes you
how there’s a y in prayer
that we don’t need
how you never asked me
why, we just went
home and made dinner;
how you kept looking
over at me, how you split
the pomegranate
how you searched
for rice, how I ate
the cookie in small bites.
How I should have bitten
my tongue. How neither
of our eyes turned green
from eating vegetables.
How hot it was
how cold I was
how I held myself
together warming up
at the gym, how I fell
apart on my knees
outside the gym.
How then I ran, how fast
I ran, how I say I got
lost but why am I
here in our field
how did I get here
how am I crying
I thought you took that
from me too—
how you were the best—
wait— no— yes—
how did you find me here—
how you might be
on fire, did you just touch
my neck, that’s why
you’re burning
that’s why y—
ok, ok, I am ready
to go now.


You don’t miss me dead
streetlights you don’t
miss me backyard
bonfire you don’t miss
me accidental conversation
long books convenience
store you don’t miss rock
wall me yoga mat me fresh
vegetables you don’t broken
cookie you don’t drunk
letter miss me frozen
ginger miss me Sylvia
Plath you dark field
don’t sprinklers miss
bleachers me no you
don’t joy you don’t
no green eyes no front
porch please no don’t
you miss me don’t you
miss brown sweater
angel me angel you
no don’t art museum
you don’t cramped
calf no me rain driving
you don’t miss me thinking
of you
don’t you dare
I don’t have the words
for this
good don’t find
don’t miss the tulips don’t
miss me too bright
yes me diving under
don’t miss me the water
you don’t miss went over me
you miss me white light
I miss you utterly empty
don’t miss me my heart opens
or I’ll miss you and closes