Under Your Influence

by Avery Oldford

I get addicted to people. The old woman at the ticket booth who
called me beautiful, the lady I saw at the supermarket rubbing her
pregnant belly and carting around a two year old, you. I am
addicted to the thought of people. That man walking down the
street carrying a bouquet of flowers, my best friend who loves me
but never says it, you and I growing old together.
I’m still married to my past. His hand on the back of my neck, the
way he said my name, the spiral I went into when he left just like
those before him. Withdrawal.
Present – your smile, your fingers tracing my spine, the way you
haven’t gotten scared yet. I become dependent on people and then
they leave. I’m terrified to care again. I don’t know how to be with
you, without being under your influence. I don’t know how to love
you without getting addicted.


Avery Oldford is a first year English student at Carleton. She aspires to pursue a career in writing because there is nothing that she loves more than words.