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At the Same Time

Wes Potter and I picked up burgers and fries

at the housing co-op's stall from Don Comis.

We carried them to sit on the grass in front of

the stage on a cool day at summer’s end

dispelling the former torrid torpor

and grooved to the metal licks and staticky lyrics

of Seraph—Roosevelt grads who scored a contract with

D. C. punk gods Fugazi’s label.

By dickinsonjohn02 via Creative Commons, public domain

By dickinsonjohn02 via Creative Commons, public domain

As we wound through the Labor Day Festival’s

torsions of asphalt aisles, a ranger with red braids

at Greenbelt Park’s table displayed a robin’s bowl

of interknit twigs filched from the forest

still holding baby-blue eggs, now doomed to

linger forever unhatched. Wes told me

of an old English noblewoman

who fell obsessed with how birds build their homes

until she wove her own nest in her manor

to brood on, like some lunatic throne.

By U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service--Northeast Region via Creative Commons, public domain

By U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service--Northeast Region via Creative Commons, public domain

Wes drove us down Route 1, along College Park’s

campus where we’d begin tomorrow, to Brentwood

cleaving to the District line. He hooked a right

onto a long street of bleached single-floor frame houses;

at his, Wes cranked up Jimi Hendrix

blending the British and American anthems.

Wes complained about losing his free pass

to a summer job when his father

sold his optometry firm, about his birthday

curtains from Grandma. Stuck to the chair

at his computer on his leisure time,

he abhorred obstructing his windows’ bland view.

Brentwood, Maryland

Before Wes dropped me off at home, we scouted our

maiden-semester classrooms on campus

amid basement catacombs of chemistry labs,

the lounge with ceramic floors and chenille-cushioned

sofas on the Honors hall’s first story,

the English Department’s blocky brick tower

a professor would call “a cross between

a Motel 6 and a county hospital.”

The Farm and Surroundings on the University of Maryland Campus

Our reconnaissance completed, Wes piloted

from the garage’s murky bunker past

cattle and goats pasturing on the model farm

to skip Route 1’s traffic as much as he could.

So our adolescence expired:

on an easy day, ordinary but happy,

with the trial stage of adulthood

emerging at the same time as an

incubation chamber for our fledging

and a sweeping field to pull strength from as we range it.

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