Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


You were the footnote
to afternoons in high summer

and I thought of you
as a limp breeze bumped sponges
of air through the window screen,
coating my skin with heat.

You were the asterisk to my youth
(*deceased), whispered asides,
never direct conversations

(*they’re too young to understand).
I wrote you a letter on an old computer
in DOS, as if eight years hadn’t passed

since we sat in school playing Carmen
Sandiego, dreaming of not only global,
but interdimensional travel.

My refrain: it’s not impossible
and you encouraged imagination, insisting
we must back it up with equations.

And you, today, more than twenty
years dead – you must know better now
if the theories were true: if the multiverse

is separated only by a curtain from one
dimension to the next; if we could jump

and push with our hands into another life,
into an alien place, if we had a tesseract; if
my eyes by fourteen were not viewing

the world through a crust of salt (*tears
that stopped flowing), giving myself up
to life, letting words live through me,

writing you the long-ago letter that I
could not send before pressing “delete.”
NAMEKate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999. Her work has appeared online and in print, and her kindle single Bewitched – a story told in poems and flash fiction – was released in June 2014 via the Pankhearst Singles Club. She lives in Sheffield, England with her sons and her cat. You can find out more about her at

Categories: Mental Health, Poetry, Themed

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