The Academic (Nine Month Contract)

Travis Dolence

Outside my office trees begin
feverishly shedding leaves like ballast
from a sinking ship, grass browns,

turning the color of tanned
summer skin, and skin, once tanned,
begins to fade under dress shirts.

Everything moves slowly.
Enter the monochrome
months of slip-stumbling

cold-weather slurs, manufactured
enthusiasms, long nights punctuated
by whiskey sodas, bad television

and dreamless sleep. And still, and still,
somewhere inside it’s summer,
living on like a regretless hangover

well earned.



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