Maryann Corbett • Campus and Dinkytown

We are not free, and we will not forget:
It bought us with a price, a dear tuition
in calculus and rent, music and debt,
bodies and beer, existence, angst, ambition.
Here is the grid of streets we could walk blind
but struck with strangeness, stacked with uncouth blocks.
Free with us once, the place has changed its mind,
tossed memory on the curb, re-keyed the locks.
Only the Northrop Mall still saves its face,
as fixed and formal as an English sonnet.
This campus visit, we have slowed our pace
to watch them charging up and drifting down it,
the nervous phantoms bodying our pains,
still young, still beautiful. That truth remains.

Maryann Corbett’s poems, essays, and translations have appeared widely in print and online. Her first book, Breath Control, was published in 2012. A second book is due out early this year.