Issue > Poetry
Christopher Todd Matthews

Christopher Todd Matthews

Christopher Todd Matthews lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work has appeared in FIELD, Indiana Review, Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah and elsewhere.

How to Survive the Demolition of Your Alma Mater's Cruddy Old Library


Nothing echoes your lonely body's shuffle
in these teacher's clothes.

Sweetness comes from the wall-mounted cranks
but no one's sharpening anything now.

Say, Everything perishes.
Obviously.  Pine your way to the ancient couch,

inhale the greasy tweed you dreamed away entire
golden scholastic afternoons upon

a million little self-murders ago
and sigh when you let it out.  Lean on something

to exhibit, what, a charming weariness,
a certain kind of lyrical

momentousness, and wonder where all
the books have gone.  Only then may you

turn to the careless mash-up of desks
awaiting some desk-thresher and see, among the deathless

legs a-kick, the one, you know,
where ideas were made, where you perfected turning

words into hideouts.  Read what
the desk still says:  Fuck you.  This College Sucks

and, gouged just as firmly, Not so gently,
my dear
.  Swipe

the barren sill, glance out, frown
at the skewed foundation, its nagging cracks, the chill alcove

where little hurricanes go nuts.
Say, It will be better,

feel it getting better.  Only then may you wonder
why you're not a chemist, the kind

who'd know how
to bottle up all this must.  How to freeze it or dry it

or do whatever you'd have to do
to keep it

in a cabinet of regret.

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