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Aidan Spurgetis Senior
Aidan Spurgetis, of Iowa City High School, earned second place in the IC Speaks Page Poets competition. Enjoy his composition, “Out of Sight,” below.
"Out of Sight"
by Aidan Spurgetis

He lost the staring contest
because the stucco ceiling had too many eyes.
He sat up stretched and yawned.
It had been two days since his apocalypse
and he brushed his teeth. The arm moved
in the old pattern
like an explosive jackhammer
stinging the edge of his gums. It wasn’t self-punishment
only habit. He didn't know how long he brushed but he stopped when it felt

He lost the staring contest with the mirror
because he had water in his eye. and wondered
why his eyelashes were only ever damp from tap water.
He wished his body would pay attention to the highlight reel
looping in his mind: Life Before the Break-Up.
but the cereal was sickeningly sweet and he kept eating
so why would his body listen when he didn’t
He lost the staring contest with his teacher
because the video froze. it’s not like his teacher could see him.
he attended school with his camera off like the days
before his apocalypse
but after the pandemic. He knew
it could hurt more. here there were
only memories. here it was
only the same daily routine uninterrupted
by video calls and messages.
They hadn’t seen each other in months