Eighteen, I leave home for dorm dryers
nestled behind Tree Hall in a decrepit
laundry den. At its suite mate’s feet,
puddles hoisting student quarters
like lily pads. No second cycle.
Instead, I suffocate my wardrobe
with a trash bag, make it my hamper’s
neighbor for the week. I pluck
jeans as needed—let them air dry
walking class to class. The stench
of mildew turns blinding cloud.
My childhood takes opportunity
to return someplace imaginary.
I won’t notice its absence for years.