By JORDAN HAMEL
24 years old
University of Otago

Every year it’s the same

A swarm of wide open eyes

And recently straightened teeth.

The night is the most telling

Huffer caps,

Karen Walker rings,

New dresses

Too thin for a place where

It’s sunny 2 weeks a year.

Most will leave eventually,

Presumably having bettered themselves

Ready to

Take their place in the world.

But some will stay.

Driven mad by

An idea they couldn’t escape

Once the lecture ended.

They’ll form an understanding

With the city and its rhythms.

Trading the caps and dresses

For docs and trench coats.

Learning where to

Get free coffee

If you ask the barista

About their day

And who will serve them

On nights when

Everyone else

Has fled the scene.

Working for the local

Magazine or radio station

To make friends in strange places

And partially fund their

Creative pursuits.

And on moments like these

They’ll retreat to some dark corner

And sit in contemplation

Of our beloved, holy landfill.

This poem is part of the TEARAWAY Young Poets feature for National Poetry Day.

The Common Room

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