dark panelling and brown and yellow flowers between crib bars. inability to distinguish shapes clearly. an emotion, not a shape at all.
o1. age 5, cheverus school
my dragging fingers trace down the hallway single file. characters on high, a through z, alpha through omega, all above the chalkboard and above the wooden trim.
o2. age 13, cheverus school
with the windows open the coffee smell drifts in, the green tree branches always grow diagonally. the world is framed in mahogany, the boughs are reaching to meet me.
o3. adolescence, home
safest when closed, panelled and shut. doors and eyelids.
o4. age 18, bryn mawr college
looking upward into green branches, different frames. tripartite. boughs still reaching. reaching, but not as far.
o5. age 20, oxford university
the seats of bishops, the seats of scholars. forever before forever after. without me, with me, without me.
o6. age 22, bryn mawr college
arched, solid-looking, but with structural weaknesses. (i imagine) a shaft of light slanting through a crack when i spoke.
o7. age 24, present
symbolized in knowledge. the intelligence of the iris. in the arms of mahogany, falling asleep.