The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

I didn’t make it past how to——
Google interrupting

with fill-ins——who knew
the most pressing quest

is how to tie a tie?——
people everywhere, it seems,

confounded by the length
of slippery silk, life

somehow insisting on loops,
tugs, knots at the throat,

when all I’d been searching for
was how to eat mussels,

the specialty of the bistro
my husband and I are dining at

tonight, where, it turns out,
in front of the steaming

black bowl, I can just do
what I see everyone else doing——

using a shell to pluck tastes
of ocean and butter——while gazing

at my husband and thinking
about ties——the maddening

adjustments, alignments,
that drive to achieve

a certain ideal, and yet
it’s so easy to loosen

the pressure——how to kiss
revealed next on the list.