the practice apartment

Clancy Tripp | Poetry

down on South Campus, catty-corner from the Bursar’s, overlooks the Solo cup perennials bloodying the Phi Delts’ house yard. Here: a practice baby (carried, born), first name [none], last name Domestic Economics (Domecon), on loan from the local orphanage.

she’s parented in shifts, by semesters, as enrollment dictates. turnstile moms backlit by artless October suns and their requisite beams. her bassinet fords a Nile of coos, as credit hours allow. imagine them, caretakers in training, syllabus week: Ticonderogas swish like conductors’ batons and Pink Pearls crisp as faith and marbled composition notebooks combed through with icy veins and I hope but doubt they painted the nursery afresh between babies.

but: bank holidays. solstices. sherbet found-penny afternoons. a murder of frisbees overlooks the ghosttown quad. cutcopypasted dormitories, every drawer cavernous and Pledge-scoured. who tends the floursack children with weak sloppy seams? the egg kids with Sharpied grins and denouement brows? who keeps who in the dregs of June, when the sky is whistle-drunk and sparkling? who loves us when nothing is due.