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Passing Light by (A Teenaged) Ray Stoeve

This poem is part of our weekly series featuring today's authors and long-lost pieces they wrote as teenagers. Today's guest is Ray Stoeve, whose forthcoming novel Between Perfect And Real will be released in the spring of 2021. But, first, here's a pic of Ray just a year before they wrote this poem.

Ray at 16

Now in passing,

I see us still, sitting

in sunlight and laughing.

Always laughing.

Books open yet no learning done

but of each other.

Just to live and not forget, that's

all I ask.

There is no time but distance,

stretching longer than our shadows beneath the streetlights.

Yet there it is,

hope falling in the fountain.

Hitting our skin to burst

and leave a mark.

Less palpable than water, but

lasting like your warmth,

and your arms enclosing me for the last time.

Still I stood, in sunlight.

My own planet somehow gone cold as

your footsteps took you out of my orbit.

And that azure morning,

waking up and knowing your absence like a hole in space.

Curled up in my covers,

looking backward

into a past forever moving

further away.

And now in passing,

I see us still, still

in sunlight, still smiling.

Almost like a dream.

Golden, fading.



Ray Stoeve is a queer, transgender writer from Seattle, Washington. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship for their young adult fiction, and are on a personal mission to include at least one trans character in every book they write. When they're not writing heartfelt queer stories, they can be found hiking their beloved Pacific Northwest, or on stage in drag. They have a short story in the anthology Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance, forthcoming in 2019 from Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. Their debut novel Between Perfect And Real will be released in the spring of 2021 by Amulet.


Have some long-lost teenaged writing of your own that you'd like to share? If you're a published (or soon-to-be-published) author interested in sharing writing from your childhood, click here to connect with us about being featured in an upcoming segment of My Long-Lost Teenaged Writing.


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