Somehow, it is spring. The branches wear shriveled green promises. The undergrads have, for the most part, abandoned pants. The birdcalls along the Spring Creek trail have swelled to cacophony. Somehow, in a few short weeks, the first year of your MFA will be over.
Maybe it’s true— what it says in the book on physics that you just finished for poetry workshop. That time is relative. That the fabric of the universe flexes around us like a gigantic snail shell. You imagine the minutes running through, fast as marbles in a shoot, or slowing along a curve, catching in divots. This makes sense. This is the only explanation for why you can’t decide whether to measure the past eight months in seconds or decades.
A moment ago, you were playing literary trivia at the MFA welcome picnic, too shy to introduce yourself to the poets you’d been admiring from afar, the poets who would now act as your professors. A moment ago, you were sipping beer from a local brewery and making small talk with your cohort. You remember it perfectly— how elated you felt to have found this writing community, how much you missed the friends and family you’d left behind, how the air was already sharpening against the coming fall.
Now, it’s spring and you’ve known these people for years. You sit on their back porches, drinking wine and throwing a tennis ball for their dogs. You cut their hair in your kitchen. You sing improvisational melodies into a microphone (even though you don’t sing in front of anyone anymore) while they play the saxophone, the piano, the bass, the guitar. You go on road trips with them and wake up before dawn to watch the sunrise from the peak of a mountain. You exchange books with them constantly. You cook dinner together and watch scary movies. You don’t realize how important they’ve become to you until you go home for winter break and feel like part of you has disappeared.
Sometimes, you agonize: How can it all be happening so fast? How will I remember the who and the what and the when?
Don’t worry so much. It’s all relative.
You’re just getting started.
You’re a pro by now.
Write it down, write it down, write it down…
Laura Roth is an emerging poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As of now, she is a first year MFA candidate in poetry at CSU, an editorial assistant for Colorado Review, and a composition instructor. Most recently, her work has appeared in Passengers Journal and been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Porch Prize.