Issue > Poetry
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.