The Chair

From the thrift store on South
we lugged the old thirty-dollar armchair
past the late summer idlers
to the car, strapped it to the back
and carried it off to a new
seventh-floor dorm home.

It graced the corner beside the rug,
swirls of green and orange
velvet print made louder
under a cheap lamp, tamed
to a vibrant clash in the wash
of morning light,

its hideous brilliance forgiven
for the plush dimensions
and stout, loving arm rests.
“We might need a slip for that.”
My roommate upon one look at it

wrinkled her nose. I laughed
and we took turns sinking into
the ugly chair and throughout
the year outside the tall windows
the seasons changed. In the chair

quiet things were done —
brief naps, love letters,
books studied, poems copied,
written, read. By night our neighbors
came around, sat, made us
die of laughter. The marching band

boys waged war in the hallways,
and their hostages fled
to our room for safe haven —
all night the doors slammed,
hearts broke, alcohol ran.

Our wardrobes changed.
We hardly looked back.
And whenever I think of the past
I’m convinced it must still be
happening somewhere, somehow
on a distant fabric of time

the sun is still reaching into
all the corners of that room,
she is still translating Neruda
on the bottom bunk
under a yellow floral quilt.

And I’m writing about how
much I love that cellist
and if he feels the same,
cradled in the armchair
which we never did cover up
with anything pretty after all.

2 thoughts on “The Chair

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