Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cornell College

Before the students were the buildings
brick and cement, always warm too quickly
cool too softly

before the class was the conversation
of luck trying to find us 
when we so desperately master the art of dissolving 

before me, another woman, 
speaks of students, schools and studies
makes me think of times I spent wandering hallways

before the welcome, a lesson 
about annotation: how we explain  
the sources of a river's water 

before the end of class he tells me 
Jerusalem is like a second home to me 
I spend much of the summer in a street I cannot now recall its name now
he's blue-eyed and tall. I tell him it will be West,
 because the Eastern part had its name written
in people's palms

before reading, more waiting, 
for the seats to arrange themselves
the eyes to stop the staring

before the end I know 
the question because I have figured out 
how the answer falls flat onto me

before departure, 
we walk the campus, before the last building,
she turns to me, says: did you know Carl Sandburg stayed here?
I didn't I say. 

Photo credits: my photograph, copyrights mine.

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