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Cecilia, or: most of what happens in a high school dance, happens in your head

Cecilia and everything undone.

Inadequate and worldly.

Smiling and smiling and smiling

and thank you and everything else.

Their skin, their trousers, their midriffs.

Cecilia swooned.

Here was everything.

Everything was inadequate.

They dripped on the table.

Everything turned.

It wasn’t her.

It was her.

Worldly and undone.

There were here and more and

look, look, look.

They turned.

They looked.

Everything looked.

Everything swooned.

Everything was Cecilia.

Cecilia was Cecilia and

Cecilia was everything.


Posted 10/20/18
From the left-aligned words in a column of "Cecilia Awakened" by Tessa Hadley, in the Sept. 17, 2018 issue of The New Yorker.
Comments (3)
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Thanks so much, Travis! Looks like I disabled the star settings on this one. I will take the 5 stars and keep them in my heart!
10/24/18 11:01am
I have been trying to give this poem 5 stars but it doesn't seem to stick. Am I doing something wrong? Is it the Russians? I promise to be a better reader, I promise, just let me rate....
10/24/18 9:27am
Very cool. I read the poem and enjoyed before noticing the word of explanation about Tessa Hadley's column.
10/24/18 9:18am