Vincent in high school shone with the luminescence
that touches those to whom success seems inevitable.
A talented musician and gifted artist; I was fascinated by him.
I mused what it must be like to wander through our high school’s halls
with his ease and confidence instead of fear and insecurity.
What a wondrous life he must be destined to lead!

Five years later, I am an intern on a psychiatric ward for adults
I try to soothe my patients’ troubled minds with mosaic tile projects
and other creative outlets to varying degrees of success
The shy girl of yesterday replaced by a more confident and sociable
version of herself. I am startled when Vincent appears,
there is a loose, mystical manner about him.
I feel uncomfortable when he remembers me .
Vincent tells me of his desire to escape this jail
so he can fulfill his destiny of going on tour
with the heavy metal band TOOL ;
confides over crossword puzzles he can’t eat
because the staff poisons his food.
I often turn to find him in the doorway;
quietly staring as though he would like to swallow me whole
He writes poems and songs leaves them under my office door.
I feel relief when I move on.
Able to shed Vincent like a snake sheds its’ skin

A few years later I walk with an old friend in Northampton.
It is one of those perfect autumn days where the air smells faintly
of smoke, trees a symphony of colors that wave crisply in the breeze.
As we pass a Tibetan restaurant I spot Vincent in the front window.
His hair no longer flows, but the bundle of dark curls remain.
He looks up to see me; his eyes are focused and clear.