Poem of the Week-Gabrielle Tolentino: “The Light”

The Light


you’re eating a sandwich over the sink.

the light is off. there’s a note on the door.

three moons dangle in the window.


the room is washed grey. three moons dangle

in the window, but neither of us is looking.

you feel my eyes on you. your sandwich starts to drip.

i’m screaming at you.


where were you and what happened

and then what, tell me, happened?


you’re picking lettuce off your dress

crying sorry like you always did.

and this time i won’t hate you,

this time i’ll say sorry too and

i promise you’re my best friend

no matter how many times

you turn into someone else.


but the light is still off. and the note

on the window makes it so that there are only

two moons dangling behind it.

you’re reading it. you wrote it.


two weeks ago an ambulance

crept down your street

filling the driveways with

neighbors in slippers,

neighbors with their hands on their hips,

neighbors who didn’t know

that there were eleven tiny pills

dissolved somewhere inside your body bag.

you left a note that said my name.


i’m walking to you. the room holds its breath.

your back is straight, your sandwich is dripping.

i don’t know how you’re here. but i need to see you.

i stand beside you. i turn on the light.


you tell me i’m crazy and reach through me

to turn it off.

By Gabrielle Tolentino

Poet BIO:

My name is Gabrielle Tolentino and I am 21 years old. I have grown up against the beaches of Oxnard and Ventura County all my life. I am currently a creative writing major at Pepperdine University. I intensely hope to be a published author and to invoke the wistfulness of hope, heartbreak, and love in readers.


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