What we thought of as our rooms,
laid out in rows, our beds,
our mattresses, our feet
sticking off the edge was none of it.
The halls could best be described
as belonging to those who cut
a yellow ribbon or first
tye-died clothes in our sink
or belonging to the first to groan
on our mattress, spill love
when they were new, belonging
to the state. We, as Rockefeller’s
children, who belonged
to whichever farmer sold the land
or to the natives or the earthworms
or simply to the earth.
We called it ours. Grew tan
by the gunk, thin in the limbs
of a dead tree, ran like bats
along a starless evening.
They paved the tripping fields.
Made soft the slope that felled us
and hung lights so the incline
would never, again, come as a surprise.
Tore up the tree and its roots.
All that’s left is a patch,
or a pennant, or a hoodie,
some embellished aberration
walking back to us down a hallway.
Ah-Ann, who may have been
that lovely, worthy of our lustful
admiration and our youth.