Under the bridge in the sprinkling snow
I walked back from the train
under the bridge along the way before
Ludlowe High, and by
the great big houses and the leaves
and the short stone walls,
and all the pine trees that protrude over the edges
where the white flakes accumulate
and make slush by the cracks
in the black road up Black Rock.
And a year later I press down into the snow
and make note of the snow on the branches that lean out
into the road, because I’m going to melt along with it.
And always looking down,
as cars drive by and kick up the water on the wet ground,
this is a place that’s always the barrier,
the unnamed and unexamined space in between
going to and from:
the town, the City, the school, the track, the home.
But what would happen if you just sat
on one of those uncomfortable gray rocks that
almost want to say keep out
and just watched
for seven semesters and I think you’d witness
an eighteen year-old who panicked and ran in the dark
under the bridge and to the train
and two rootless minds;
one in a familiar black coat dragging a suitcase,
and another in old church shoes
on the same cracked, paved sidewalk
and a tight green wrinkled colored shirt,
waiting, hoping, hustling back, under the bridge,
past Ludlowe, past all the trees and the stone and the SUV’s and the white cylindrical testament to wealth and comfort and safety and we made it and we kept it back to the Regis Hall freshman dorm, where,
a nineteen year-old with a black flower in her hair,
gently kissed the forehead of a sad young man as I watched, leaning back against the empty frame of a bed
and learned that apologies are made just so you can crawl back.
Before I left, we’d been talking about death.
I never got to hear how it ended.