Excerpt #95, Rocking-Chair Moon

Tour
—Ben

This place has COLLEGE written all over it
in big, bold letters—
old, dark buildings with character,
new, bright ones with style,
smooth, green lawns arranged among them
like angular, April lily pads,
giant classrooms with Saturday-night-movie
seats, small ones with the latest
in high-tech obsolescence,
running paths leading off to secluded spots

for contemplating one’s sweaty navel,
beehive dorms with party possibilities
despite our tour guide’s assurances
to the contrary,

and it’s exciting to picture myself
strolling along with these independent,
no-worries guys in their care-free ball-caps
and careless beards,

it’s thrilling to think about next year’s plant
of sophisticated coeds,
no longer hamstrung
by high school conventions and alliances,
but me—I’m feeling especially and
conspicuously high-school-ish right now,

with Mom tagging along next to me, close,
as if she wants to absorb the experience
of my college visit right through her skin,

and I really resent her shadowing me
as we walk through the cardio room
at the student gym
and I spot this college girl, all sweaty-hot,
working hard on the stair-climber,

wearing a gray Genuine Parts tank top,
snug on all her genuine parts,
and she sees me eyeing her, although I’m
doing it extremely suavely and sneakily
(okay, high-school suavely and sneakily),

and she smiles at me with her mouth
and eyes and the damp creases in the skin
of her beautiful face,
and she doesn’t even notice my mom,

and I decide that the tour could end
right here, I decide I for sure just settled
on the right college
for this lily-pad-cruisin’,
running path-bruisin’,
stair-climber-usin’,
high-school-grad-to-be.

Comments are closed.