On Thursday, Naomi texted me at twelve midnight
to tell me that she met a girl,
and on Friday, she declared that it was a coup de foudre,
a lightning strike of love at first sight.
Girls like Naomi are born fist-first, like
thunder claps in the middle of the night,
don’t know anything about slow burns because
everything in life can be boiled down to forever or never.
She tends to believe in forever, always craves that
hypnotic spiral of yesterday melting into today and tomorrow,
and when she saw her lightning strike,
she reached back with thunder claps pulling closer and closer
to a girl who she saw as a beacon in
a dark, dark night. But she forgot that
you could count the seconds between the strike and the sound,
and that there you could count the miles between them.
The darker the night, the closer they were,
but as the nights grew clearer and the shadows weren’t as deep,
the lightning slowly faded away until there was nothing
for the thunder to clap towards anymore.
It got too lonely listening to the silence, and soon, Naomi realized
how much she had missed sunny days after the storm had passed.
This poem was previously published with Vending Machine Press.
Stephanie Tom is a high school student living in New York. She writes and serves as an editor for both her school newspaper and literary magazine. She has previously won a Gold Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poetry, and her work has either appeared in or is forthcoming in Dear Damsels, Hypertrophic Literary, and Rising Phoenix Review, among other places.