Forbes and Fifth

Softer Worlds

Softer Worlds  


Tell me a story. 

What I mean is  

make me a softer 


I want to be able to press my fingertips 

against it. What I mean is I want to feel it  

give a little. I draw on my knees and leave 

an outline on my sheets, on the couch. It is enough 

sometimes to see any change, to turn it temporary.   


My friends and I 

are looking to add  

to our list of reasons to grow old.  

Tell me a story— 

what I mean is  

let us all be alive, 

to grow old, to let time wrinkle  

our faces and hands 

and morph our tattoos. What a miracle it would be 

to see us all with gray hair. 


My professor tells us to imagine  

that inside us is a spiral staircase,  

imagine walking down it, winding slowly to our  

centers. I imagine this staircase,  

imagine walking down it 

in the dark. Tell me a story, 

I ask, and what I mean is 



turn on the light.  

Volume 20, Spring 2022