Opaque Shades of RVA
You could have reached here Wednesday by last choice
Perhaps your mood shifted. All the calm nights
you had now lay awake. You explore the city
built by the perfect people, white cathedral
stands upright on a slant, a compass buried in plain sight,
the gibberish of art students from painting lullabies as sirens.
Only children are asleep. The university
grows younger each year. The best teacher
is always late, not realizing her impact.
The person I’m most comfortable with
stays in bed. Security found indoors
the couch allures, security in the capsule,
The deafening whispers, the genuine friends
who live nearby and can’t talk straight. The blessed temple
building worshiped by advertising majors.
The lucid potential, morning sprints round the track,
a library sustained by crushed Adderall —
glowering orbs rotating back counter clockwise,
out of chimneys the black spirits climb,
detectives bicycling, the honor students rummaging
for class notes in the deep end of the dumpster.
So this is college? That frontier plateauing
before you can dive off a cloud? So this utopia
was a dollhouse, the daily on the doormat
camps in the hallway: waits while the child watches a sit-com?
Don’t apartments stand still? Are abstract paintings
and basketball supposed to nurture a city,
not only Richmond, but also other lonely cities
of misunderstood brunettes, dank weed and dubstep
the weekend will seldom put out
until the city you moved to shuts its eye?
Just tell yourself, “live.” The best teacher, eighteen
when she moved to the university, still grins
even as she coughs out fiberglass. Any day now,
she sings, I’ll take a drive and leave this place.
I pull her close and say. You haven’t slept in your own bed.
The boy who you’ve always loved still thinks about you.
The books you read before breakfast,
whoever the author may be, inspires
and your least favorite student who raises her hand
is judged but her posture never falters.