Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Esto Absoluta

Despite the hallway lined with a hundred years
of girls framed in graduation white‚

they can allow themselves to imagine the detritus
of classrooms‚ laboratories—beakers and vials—

mingling with leaf dust‚ and wasps passing
unhurried through the windows’ paneless grid

to nest in the halls’ mute bells. Rain comes in‚
snow‚ then slower ivy in dusky air. Pigeons‚

ubiquitous‚ whose placid voices have long
accompanied such dreaming‚ enter their rooms

as though enrolled‚ resigned to the girls’ fate‚
to the blackboard’s chalky refusals—latent equations‚

declensions‚ proofs—all their failed erasures.