van st.

by Steven J. Serafiani

I slowly circled my old middle school
the familiar brick
the field I played in looked diminutive
a full hour to just run around
I stopped near the gym
memories like a layer cake
standing outside at night in basketball shorts shivering
thinking I was going to be Jordan
the dances when boys and girls occupied separate sides
the whispers and giggles
kissed a girl in the alcove
kissed a girl in the band room
drove around to the giant staircase we all trudged up after exiting a line of yellow
I remember the first bell vividly
the hallways full
the hallways empty
a prison now palatial

I was a warrior once.