When the woman at church said 27
was her worst year, I did not understand
until “dinner” came to mean

fried egg on toast, until churches
and flowers became synonymous
with weddings, and I’m still

talking to myself in my apartment,
as I fold laundry and write lesson plans
most weekends. Calls from friends

are reserved for car rides, peppered
with the voices of their children.
At 27, a misplaced key, a punctured tire,

is enough to fold in on myself again,
to allow the critics in my head full reign,
to wish upon myself an eternal sleep.

At 27, free meals thrill me, and earl grey tea
sees me through my mornings.
The pace of days quickens to the rush,

to the ceaseless falling
of the Intercontinental Hotel’s water wall.
At the traffic light, I’ll sometimes

roll down the window and listen
to the gush that will continue
until the first hard freeze

and then all the fountains of the city
will be silent until spring. At 27, I envy
the fountains, the expectation of rest.

Lindsey Weishar holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is a contributor to Verily magazine, and reviews new books of poetry for the Ploughshares blog. Her chapbook, Matchbook Night, was published by Leaf Press (Canada) in 2018.

Next Page (Summar West)

Previous Page (Rachel Tramonte)