The Lilac x The Student: “Nothing Entire”
The inaugural edition of The Lilac x The Student, brought to you by The Poetry Club and the Arts & Living section, features “Nothing Entire,” a poem by Joe Sweeney ’25.
I watched that man spit in her eye.
He didn’t mean to — it was for her
nose, and her mouth, and her
left cheek. She knew even this.
She fingered her ring, which was
embossed with an
“A,” and beneath it — above the
second digit’s knuckle, amid
its dry parchment calluses — was ink
stained black in the shape of an “S.”
Slipping it from her finger she traced
the ring along the blunt ending curve,
like an olive fly upon a river which is
pitch and airless and dark.
She dropped the ring, and — in
the silence that was my distance —
her finger rose to the eye. And I
thought of all rivers vanishing
at their ends as the dark loses
care, and that she might
annihilate all ending (with a touch, in
a silver circular memory silence) with this
dropping she had been given. But then, as
the finger met her eye — she rubbed it in
and so in nothing entire
could it be drowned.
And that man had come back to watch,
and he was sorry.