Faculty Meeting

i (BILLY)
they never changed this hallway,
not since I have come, not since
the old orders have gone, and went
upon the way of

old men-

I think that perhaps they might be able
to paint the walls green. not a vivid green,
because then it would be too uncomplicated
to blind someone simply(because you
love)them

perhaps the green that you
can see from across a field.

and no one knows that I walk to the field at night,
and that the cold that
climbs over the rugged meaninglessness of my body
is the only way I can become earth, and become

memory and think that
when they do change this hallway, I will
have gone the way of old men-

and the red rows
of quicksand seats are too much for me. I would
rather be in the field, in the

immensity of my own
winter

ii (BRIAN)
it is not that i cannot appreciate Rome, i very much do. i appreciate
the lack of concern in the brown eyes that come
and do not expect to be grateful for Rome at all and i see the way of the wind
among the high creaking trees. i am new here. i was very young once,
and i remembered thinking that Rome was so much like the summer,
that the ephemeral bearing of childhood was as welcome as a hot
flashing field that went on until the sun sank,
and that i would be small forever,

small enough to go to earth like a baying hound
after a swift sought-out fox. but then i grew and learned
that Rome was only as big as my hand, and the auditorium was
a single strand of hair, a line of gray that was left unpainted

on the craggy wall.

iii. (DAVID)
I know the world.

I learned from the magazine covers very much about
the nature of split second photography, that it would
be as slight as the weight of Spring upon the glassy panes,
that the character of the

world was as straightforward as wrapping gifts and opening windows.

I know that I would not
teach him my old language, that even I do not
know enough of it, that the nature

of the world is
dead set against where you have come from,
as long as there are no photographs, as long
as no one speaks it. I know that being blinded
is easy. that it happens to small girls, that in September, it
is always warm, and I know

his hand sweats when I tell him I
do not remember my old language. when I
wrap irregular gifts that I
do not intend to give

iv. (MICHAEL)
when I became ill
last winter, I missed how

much blue could be eked
out of the noble sky, and

I missed the small timid
discussion of eastern boundaries. so

when I returned(from my illness)
I was locked in a place different from

the build of my classical nose and my olive skin-
I was in a world of pale stone figures, I tasted

the slavic spring that
came from a far river, one that I do not

remember ever coming about. and now the
walls look heavy. everything has a weight to it
I do not particularly agree with, I am standing
on the wide frontier, and suddenly the chalk lines
fly up at the wing beats of startled sparrows, and

there is nothing left to distinguish.
when I was ill last winter, I

thought the end of the earth came over
the tin roof that stretched out of the window

at the end of the hallway.

v. (TODD)
I believe what I miss most is the assurance that there would be something to leave behind. I am in a position to be trusted. I have the
hard cold stare of economy, I have
been cultured my whole life for fast
speaking, for the glint-

of-eye that I believed I needed. Now I am walking in a shabby hallway where no one speaks too quickly, where the allusions to Spring come in frequent gasps, and where when Spring comes, the blue shadows across my window will be the

same as when they came last year. I believe I
have become the pine trees in the back field, I
speak slowly now, I do not miss the hallway when
I leave for home, because there is nothing to
miss. I am the hallway. I can speak as

quickly as a fox in the tangle of greenbrier, or
as slow as the thaw that follows the first blue skies
of the new year

vi. (MARIA)
recently a boy and a girl came to me
the boy was very tall,
and the girl was thin, and the girl
loved the boy very quietly, and they
asked me in clever tones

why I did not claw out the
jaded eyes of disrespect, and
I told them quite simply that
when I was young, I could not
spell. not a single weighty word,
and then when I got older,

I realized that no one could spell.
the boy and the girl left with
their clever quiet(and her quietness of
loving him), and I was quite happy
with what I had said, and in the

auditorium I think I may
correct some papers or
look at the cracked plaster
or do anything but listen
to the discoursing grammarian
to whom no one

has to pay any heed