Eric Sean Rawson, Shade (photograph)

Graduation night was overwrought
as heat lightening

in a sky so charged with electrons
we nearly burst into flame.

Dust drew into storm clouds, 
trace minerals mingled with possibility,

elementary particles dashed in and out
making their statistical appearances.

Optimistic as Midwestern girls, 
we dreamt of quantum entanglement,

our cliquish leap into brilliance
about as probable as photon emission,

1 over 137. The odds were against us. 
Two suicides that year. A car wreck. 

A few girls got pregnant. Some got away.
All the usual forces applied:

money, guilt, electromagnetic charm. 
Only the numbers were predictable,

and the weather, rolling down the sky
in raindrops that were perfectly round.


Mary Peelen