Coming Back

We’re discussing group projects,

and my mind returns to undergrad.

To a student center,

on a rainy day,

papers splayed on the floor

with my spread legs

and my attention on phone interviews.

Text messages accumulated,

and I missed their persistence.

I grew annoyed,

pulled by focus

and to do lists

and my folded cap and gown

resting under my abdomen.

I missed the event of her death,

and I drew a boundary

that became a wall.

A wall with school.

A war with inattention.

An ear for responsiveness.

A suspicion for overhead lights

that hum in moments of stillness.

I thought about that as I listened for the classroom to hum.

I forget that memory is involuntary,

a muscle that orients to our use of it,

mine well worn,

annotated like my English lit novels.

I lay down my inner self and

tune to my company,

and I receive that there is notable color.

This is not a white space,

though the paint selection distracts.

I have retained the names of all

but two figures,

and none of the professors.

Perhaps because they interest me less,

or just because their attention

is also not on me.

I wait for informed consent to

enter our processes,

and I practice waiting to form opinions.

A few moments make me laugh.

My eyes want to blink,

and then shut,

feeling the call of rem cycles that might help

the stimuli sort and self organize.

So that maybe when I wake,

the memory of school,

or the reality,

might mix with my body calmly.

My walk is not a pace,

because I’m not letting go of energy,

it’s strangely a stroll.

And if it weren’t for the weather

offering distinct meaning,

I might drift away.

Instead, I consider that I might want and not want this experience equally,

and discipline has matured into obedience.

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Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.

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Amanda Lindamood

Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.