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By Isaac Richards
Along a red brick path, along an artificial stream,
(water turned off, mossy rocks vulnerable to icy air)
somewhere along the month of February, I walk.
Leafless trees preach the beauty of wearing clothes
even as they stop me cold to stare and stare and
stare. Ravens, capped chickadees, and students
wander these sculpted south campus gardens.
A duck’s webbed feet seem so shy on those stones.
She looks at me as if asking where the wine went.
Dark blue elderberry clusters leak water droplets
to snow and soil, no less real than the other cycle
of truth, language, meaning, and their cascade.
Then there was the wet polaroid I found plastered
to the cement. If I had to guess their names, they
might be Camila, Sofia, and maybe Rosa, or Maria.
All wearing white shirts. Arms around each other.
Simple, even forced smiles. Those three girls. Who
are they? And why did they leave themselves behind?