Interaction for the Perpetually Lonely

By: Lutie Rodriguez

Major: Writing & Music

Year: Senior

Hometown: Tulsa, OK


(after “future somatics to-do list” by Jen Hofer)


“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.”

—Mary Oliver


what is it like to be you?

how does the world appear from your aperture?

in sepia? greyscale? technicolor?

what do you see in spring blooms?

what do you feel in morning sunlight?

do you remember your dreams?

or is there a moment of emptiness?

what do you feel when anxiety invades your body?

what makes you feel small?

is each question a step in creating a map of your mind,

an encyclopedia of your being?

is every conversation just a grasp to know that something exists outside yourself?

is everything you understand a projection of what you know?

how sturdy is your papier-mâché conception?

when am I closest to understanding you?

while reading your favorite book?

or hearing you sing in the kitchen?

what forms those melodies?

are you your thoughts?

if I lean in close enough, can I hear their constant hum floating from your ear?

what silences that hum?

what remains in your mind after your thoughts have been emptied?

what echoes through your cavernous skull?

can I reside in its blank walls and damp corners?

does that place exist?