Winter mornings like nights, and nights like mornings.
Concrete paths iced up and I wonder at how much the university must spend on sidewalks alone. My summer brain makes space for thoughts about how they must choose where to lay the next sidewalk, or put up the next fence; how they must watch the grass slowly be trampled, as the flow of students bends and oxbows, semester to semester; how the grass of the quads gets torn up, the dirt packed hard. But at 7am on a no’s-day in the cold black winter morning I am only conscious enough to be thankful for the salt they lay down in the instant I feel it underfoot, and then, even that thought disappears.
Winter nights we come alive, and so do they. We, out from our classes, our labs, into the snow, towards home. They, out of garages on the far side of campus, where nothing happens and nobody sleeps. Us, to heat and sound and life. Bars are open—have been open—and we file in and out. They, after our ghosts, along the pathways looping back on themselves.