August is a unique month– one filled with excitement for new beginnings and longing for the familiar days– especially as I enter the state between college and adulthood. Transitioning from full time student to the world of unknown has been a lot more difficult than I had expected. It’s not so much the lack of employment that’s been frustrating, but how I’m torn between being present at home and this unexpected yearning for my former life at Baylor. I know, who would have thought I would miss Waco? This collection of poems in August (previous selections here) is helping me through these new moments and even into the sudden premature guilt I’m feeling as I begin preparing myself for next year’s move. This year especially, my poems in August focus on what and who we leave behind and how to cope with the grief and pain of change.
The first of my poems in August is a devastating short piece by Rigoberto González about how one wrestles with loss after the fact. The poem is even more painful to read after skimming through the collection of González’s other works about fathers searching for their sons. Nomi Stone‘s piece is one of my favorites of all time because it makes me imagine my own pets in place of the canine protagonist. It’s a real heart breaker and reading the work allows me to feel my own sadness when I think about Reggi (extreme pain) and how I’ll eventually have to say a hui hou to my animals at home. Elizabeth Acevedo is a literal magician with words, so of course her poem hits home for me and makes me weep. I hadn’t previously heard of Kahlil Gibran, but holy hell his connection between the feelings of joy and sorrow meets me exactly where I am. Jillian Weise‘s poem is one that I will undoubtedly repeatedly read throughout August and next year when my move approaches. I truly love and am inspired by this poem. The last piece in my poems in August is by Gary Jackson and it made me feel like I was immersed in another Call Me By Your Name so I’ll probably never stop reading and crying over this poem!! This collection is sentimental and emotional and a whole lot of sad, which is what I am in this new stage of my life, so I hope you’ll stick with me through this madness!