The Author Revisits His Freshman Dorm
Around 3:30, you find a room full of telephone skeletons,
wire-wrapped and piled on the concrete floor. Sky laughs
harder than the time he kicked through the fountain
and flooded two tunnels down, high on cheap weed
and exploration. This is your first return
since his lung collapsed, since Gloria died,
since the third time you forgot your stumble home.
John and Casey each grab a receiver for the road;
you consider making a joke about ‘mobile phones,’
but instead say nothing, and pick a brown model of your own.
Three stories above, you find the white concrete and bare
mattress that stole your virginity, with the help of a girl
you have not spoken to in months. Sky and John hide tears
in the room they shared two halls away, while Casey smokes
in the courtyard below. He is down to the ash
by the time you gather beside him, and turn to face the road.
There is no ceremony to your departure. But for a moment,
just behind, the brownstone is gasping for air.