Linzy Kirkpatrick, M1, Class of 2023

The clicking rip of velcro began
a soft,
non-committal sigh, a tck tck tck
that gathered momentum
and volume, built brick upon brick
until it was a wall, insurmountable– 
When fingers found purchase
in the cracks between bricks and up and up
scaled the edifice of sound, the
growing tck tck tck
trickled from the crenellations until an even
stream cascaded down, slicking the walls. Tck
tck rushing over and beneath and between
fingers that slipped farther,
falling –didn’t I say insurmountable?
Now the sound grows
from small annoyance to a steady state tck,
the mild irritation
of a bluebird pecking
at the seams inside your skull tck tck tck
pulling you apart
at your membranes tck tck excitedly feasting
from the inside tck and that
pleasant sensation
of the gentle clicks attaining critical mass:
the tck tck metastasizes,
careening from my ears
to the pit of my stomach.
Tck tck tck tck tck tck tck!


Incandescence erupts from
the empty spaces
between the teeth of the velcro.
I’ve arrived–
and in the small silences
lives joy,
a nascent smile.
Now the work begins.


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