Alma Mater

I brush my hand across the cinder blocks,
Across the table tops, filing cabinets, and locks.
Searching for a piece of my old reality.
As if the walls still hold a piece of me.
As if they remember me and love me a little.
As though time did not make pages brittle.
I breath the air searching for smoke, wax, developer, newsprint,
The stale memory of each countless midnight hour stint,
A hint that I left anything lasting here in this space.
I didn’t.

There’s nothing familiar here to reminisce about.
I’ve been painted over, knocked down, and moved out.
Walking out I stop in at the bookstore.
I’m still searching but I don’t know what for.
I buy some mementos. Ornament. Decal. Clothes.
The lasting impression was on me. As it should be, I suppose.

Nichole M. Dulin


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