Poems by Drew Hansen




midnight brain

My brain behaves a bit differently as I lay it down to rest.
Ideas hatch, grow wings and mature into challenges.
Limitations—they melt and lose their form.
My midnight brain does not heed to the foundations of physics,
or acquiesce to the laws of love.

So as my soft cotton pillow hugs my face,
and my warm, wool blanket makes friends with my still body,
I cannot help but dream while still wide awake.

I make elaborate plans for the day my midnight brain
decides to stay open 24 hours.



First, I ran from my ghosts.
But running gets tiring,
so I had to learn to live with them.

At first, they scattered their darkness
across my home and did not bother to pick
up after themselves—
lousy roommates.

But little by little, the ambiance of
this home shifted,
until I finally did away with the concrete blocks
that previously adorned my feet
and fastened on my finest pair of blue suede shoes.

I jig and jive and pirouette—
I am learning to dance with my ghosts.



It is early summer in Lake Tahoe:
the backdrop for the beginning of the end,
that, in reality, felt much more
like the end to our beginning,
“part two” of this love story.

We perch upon a towering boulder
that hugs the lake’s edge.
I hug you and say, “That blue is so beautiful.”
You nod in agreement,
not realizing that I am referring
not to the color of the water,
but to your eyes.

“Let this moment last forever,” I whisper to myself.

We stroll downtown and stop
for a bite to eat.
We share a pizza that would make
my native Chicago quite proud.

“It’s one of the best I’ve ever had,”I say,
realizing mid-sentence that
I am speaking not of the pizza,
but of this perfect day spent with you.

“Let this moment last forever,” I whisper to myself.

We walk in and out of tourist trap
gift shops, trying on tacky hats
and belly laughing till we’re blue
in the face.

You plead with me to buy
matching sweatshirts.

I’m not keen on the idea,
but would be even less so
if I knew that one day soon,
this same sweatshirt would be relegated
to the depths of my closet,
never to be worn again.

Still, I chuckle, pull out my wallet,
and give in to your playful pestering.

“Let this moment last forever,” I whisper to myself.

Four days pass.
Four days spent in a similar
sort of ethereal aura,
four days for which the
page with the word “worry” on it is
torn out of our respective dictionaries.

Time stood still those days,
in the way I imagine it does moments
before a devastating hurricane hits.

If only we knew, we would have scrambled
to build a shelter,
instead of basking in the sun.

But these four days come and pass,
and before my flight back to Chicago
even lands, the rickety stilts that we
built our relationship upon begin
to creak and shake.

My future self shouts back at present me,
his voice desperately trying
to cut through the fabric of time
to be heard.

“Do something before you LOSE her!”

But I do not listen.

Instead, I hold you tight,
kiss your sun-kissed skin,
and breathe in this Tahoe night.

You see,
the funny thing about “forever”,
is that it usually is not so.


About the Author


A financial consultant by trade, Drew Hansen is a man concerned with numbers by day. But in his free time, it is words that consume his life. Drew found his safe haven in poetry quite recently and has experienced great joy in expressing himself in a manner he never before could have imagined.