Natalie Easton

Awkward Phase Starring David Tennant

At fifteen my sister shored up the walls of her room
with five flavors of glossy boy-band grin &

I observed her critically. At thirty three I am now
too old for an awkward phase, too aware of how

when people gawp at you, I feel guilty just for being
part of the audience: one of countless fans

who’ve called you the Lonely Angel, who’ve
called you Casanova. It’s easy to fall for your intensity

& trust you as a momentary truth. Granted, you know
something of distraction, too; the irony of Hamlet’s

star-crossed fate is that you don’t believe in astrology,
& until you leaned against the pillar to make eye contact

with the camera & recite his soliloquy, I didn’t either.
Admittedly I’ve seen every role you’ve played, but

I favor the Doctor: carefree & sure of himself, able
to fix anything. Still, I cringe when someone encroaches

on your personal space, drops another screwdriver
innuendo. (I might break the rules of time, but I would

never do that to you.) In character you can’t die; this
is true all the time. At the end my mother didn’t say

“the moment has been prepared for”; she said, “I’ll be
all right.” Sometimes you almost make those words

disappear back into the darkness of her mouth, & when it
glints with her saliva I can see the sky with its dead stars

pretending to give off light, & nothing ever changed.
Mr. Tennant, you’re enticing, no mistake—but

what this fantasy finally rests on is the idea that someone
can travel back through the void,

& you make it look so easy.

Natalie Easton’s poems have appeared in such publications as Jet Fuel Review, Superstition Review, and tinywords. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2014, and was a contributor at Bread Loaf in 2015. You can find her on twitter as @poetnatalie. Her favorite candy: Swedish Fish, pretty much since birth.

 … return to Issue 8.1 Table of Contents.