The Eternal Protagonist

by Louis Lafair, 18
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Austin, Texas

 

The protagonist enters the bedroom.

Which I don’t need to describe. You can

already see the

bed

bookshelf

dresser

 

the bedroom.

My pen strikes paper and in the span-of-a-

single-sentence becomes your

lamp

alarm clock

desk

 

bedroom.

With one word I paint

a technicolor panorama of your lifestyle in motion

sheets sprawled across the floor

stacks of notebooks shoved into a corner

drawers, half-open, I don’t have to tell you what’s inside of them, you already know.

 

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

Something in that drawer.

 

Every drawer is full, but I–

I haven’t added any

thing to any of them. Nothing

in that drawer. Nothing in

that drawer. The only items

in any of the drawers are

your own. Those fourteen rhyming lines are a sonnet of

your own composition. They are

your bedroom, built out of matchsticks

your memory, burnt onto paper

your self, waving awkwardly from the other end of a crooked mirror.

 

In this poem,

in all poems,

you

are the eternal protagonist.

 

Written in Response to Ron Padgett’s “Nothing in That Drawer”