Peripheral Vision

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2020


Silhouettes of a man and a woman in front of a Window frame
Graphic design by Elizabeth McGinn ’21

by Marelle Hipolito ’22

I knock on the door, tap tap tap,
And it is opened to a glitter aura embrace.
OHMYGODHI, and I am passed into a swarm of bodies.
Excuse me, sorry there, as I navigate to the cool drift unfolding in from the window.
My head is low as my knees pull my feet up, down, up down up,
From and to the dry stick of drinks spilled on the floorboards.
The night breeze meets me, and at once
I look up and, there you are, in my peripheral vision. 

My chest freezes while surrounded by the night’s breezes,
Thump thump, thump thump thump
I can feel my heart rise to my throat, reaching to be free
An attempt at escape, much like the night’s cool breeze
To greet you a hello or meet you a stranger –
A decision as you come closer in my peripheral vision. 

“How have the months gone by, you know, without me?”
or “Hey, how you’ve been?”
I run the scenarios in my head, in my mind where you live.
I trace the domino effects, the trails of burning fire of what could be.
But either way, it always ends with you that I see. 

You see me, see you, see me.
You draw close enough,
and we both forget how to speak.
There is a pause, as we take breaths to start to speak,
and another pause as we let them out.
Has it been that long, or is our connection just that strong?  

Someone’s knee does not pull up enough from the floorboard stick,
and his cup spills onto us, ah, sorry guys.
Oh no, you’re fine.
It’s alright, you’re good.
With his lesson learned, he walks away,
now pulling his feet up, down, up down up. 

We look at each other again,
eyes overwhelmed with mutual understanding.
We feel the remnant shadows of the spill
left on our skin slowly rise,
greeting the new wave of nighttime breeze.
We both turn towards the window,
waiting to be immersed by the gentle cool air,
as we look at each other in our peripheral vision.