It was you who turned my head, not the dress,
which was navy blue with a white collar, simple
and trim, sort of nautical, kind of stunning.
Maybe my head was turned already, looking.
I had resolved to remain on a friendly basis for
the academic year, as it would seem improper
if faculty, however young, dated students.
Maybe we could get together after graduation.
Lines shuffled at rows of registration tables.
Dispensing course cards and advice, I stayed
calm about seeing you following the "let's wait"
letter I had sent, the one with no reply.
Now and then, maybe more now than then,
I looked. Five rows over, a portrait in blue.
Buckets of ball bearings clattered over
broken glass down marble stairs. Oh. Hello.
Raymond Byrnes lives in Virginia. His recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in All Roads Will Lead You Home, Panoply, Typishly, Better Than Starbucks, Eclectica, Sky Island Journal, Split Rock Review, and Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Poetry Anthology.