Summer Looms

The sun sailing unhindered through the blue, cloudless sky; parking lots and car hoods so hot you could fry an egg on them; afternoon retreats to Barton Springs. Summer is definitely coming in Austin, or at least some days it sort of seems so. As the city heats up, we become more observant of the things we wear and the things we carry out the door with us every day. It makes us judge the value of those things, determining whether they’re worth the extra burden in the oppressive heat. In this week’s selection for Badgerblog, author Mariah shows us that these decisions are about more than personal comfort. They’re about the “overriding” need to “feel cluttered.” Congratulations, Mariah, on writing such a potent poem!

What I Carry

The things I carry are important
but replaceable. So there is no need
to carry anything at all,
but the need to feel cluttered is overriding.
I carry a chongo,
my ring, ID, a rubber foot, a mirror, and some perfume.
I carry the chongo in case the feeling of hair
on my neck on a hot day becomes too annoying.
I carry a ring on my middle finger.
I’ve carried it so long that when I take it off
you can see the white outline left behind.
I carry a school ID because
it’s a sin to leave it at home on your bed.
I carry a rubber foot I bought
from a package that cost me 60 cents at Wal-Mart,
and I carry it because I forget to remove it from my things.
I carry a mirror in case of a runaway eyelash,
but otherwise its useless. Lastly, I carry
perfume because you must always smell inviting.
Notice that a cell phone isn’t on my list
even though I’m a teenager.

Mariah, eleventh grade, Del Valle High School


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