From my shoulder bag, the sidewalks, the bright,
the stillness of. Dorm, dining hall leave five,
bite of frozen air. But my breath. Is this,
the pedals’ wobbly, the reflective snow,
doorway. Of air, on my cheeks. The looming
stillness of the dorm. Is this what. The pink sheets
three or five. Dark glass door and when it swings.
Coaster brakes, the bright reflective stillness
of the snow. Is this. From my shoulder, the sheets.
The looming, but my breath, an office and some-
one in a turtleneck. Dorm leave four or three
printed sheets, chestnut, kelly green, is this
what life is. The library door, dark glass.
The bright, the bite of. My breath. And when it swings.
Dan Alter’s poems are recently published in Burnside Review, Field, and Zyzzyva among others. He lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley and makes his living as an electrician. He is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College.