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Downtown Farmington Maine, Franklin County’s shiretown. Photograph courtesy of Ian Roig.

I saw her outside of Preble Hall, it
must have been early February, her
black down coat draping to the salted,
frozen earth.
She smiled and I crossed the street
to greet her, and we already spoke as memories.
We knew each other Freshman year, but now
four years on, we might as well have been foreign 
species to one another.
The conversation looped around meaning, as they 
usually do, with vague platitudes and gentle
support for the promise of the future.
Is this where we grow up?
Four years ago, flush with the possibilities of boundless tomorrows,
every conversation was about dreaming,
but today, it is pragmatism that reigns.
The fluid sap of adolescence gives way
to the hardened amber of adulthood.
It is obvious we are different people now.
Whatever watershed our rivers flow to,
they no longer join, if they ever did.
The conversation negative space began to take over,
so we made brief plans to chat again as she
pointed towards her apartment in the shadow of Mallett Hall.
But like Harry Chapin in his Taxi,
we knew it would never be arranged.

The knocking was gentle, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be heard,
or if she wanted to hear me.
No stirring in the dark windows above.
I closed my coat and walked back to Lockwood Hall.

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