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That Semester Sucked

by Alexa Colvin

One pandemic, one dead dad, and one failed long term relationship later, I decided 
to start again. To reinvent myself, to Van Gogh my tired smile and racing mind 
into something bold, something absurd, something triumphant like art. 

Daring, emotive strokes. 
Brilliant drags of unapologetic ochre, cadmium, and chrome.
I would be bright and enviable; I would be a starry night. 

Instead, I’m smeared, muddy blues. 
I’m stained fingertips. I’m muted and dull and missing an ear. 
Not literally, metaphorically. 
Everything is noise, nothing is discernible; I passed my finals by the skin of my 
teeth and I watched my 3.82 waver. 


I used to be so good at this. 

Now, I’m experimenting with searing neon green. It washes me out. 
There’s a pamphlet in my car, lost to Taco Bell receipts and crumpled sticky notes. 
Peeling sunflower stickers frame my rearview portrait. 
If I wasn’t so stubborn, I’d admit defeat. I could still work at Walgreens. 

But, I’m technicolor and obnoxious and their uniform is gray with a crimson 
I printed seven copies of my two weeks notice when I quit. 
I didn’t know how many I needed and I wanted to be sure. 


Something is hanging over the campus and it’s dreary, it’s heavy, and it’s not just 
me that used to be good at this.
It’s not just you that used to be good at this. 

But, you made it. 
You did it. Your canvas is salvageable; 
what constitutes art is subjective; 
And there’s no right, there only is. 


So much is. So much will continue to be. So much will end. 

The sadness won’t last forever. 

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