La Vie by Johanna Ramm

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La Vie

None of the figures are actually looking
towards me. I fold the hefty paper museum guide
between my fingers absentmindedly.
Except in the painting behind,
a small face sketched in charcoal
stares at me between the eyes
where Casagemas shot at Germaine.
I recount this later upon a couch
to a doctor who is worried by my worry
of being snubbed by a painting. She says
You have a fixation
on being understood more so
than many other people do.

I try to understand
what she means, how wanting
to fit in was unique to me,
how I became one of those people who wants
to fit in. I can see her words riding her breath
like a toy train in smooth circles across the room,
straight line pushing pushing across her chair
her bookshelf her plant her window to her couch
to me atop it, plastic wheels spinning lazily
on an invisible wooden track.
But alas, I do not think she sees it,
so I wave it away, the words and the breath
dissipate like plumes of cigarette smoke.
As it dissolves so do the thoughts from before
replaced by Germaine and a wonder
if she was just trying
to enjoy a coffee with friends.
If maybe a strand of his brain
flicked onto the table where her
hand had been before she ducked,
the muscle that wore her away from herself
the tissue that filled his thoughts with a her
that never was. I wonder if she ever
got the specks of blood off her dress.
If she ever wore it again.

Johanna Ramm

Johanna Ramm is an aspiring poet majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. While she loves all types of art, what words can do is one of her favorite things of all. :