To the Cold Wall

Kit Frick

It is a night like any night six years ago. Every car horn the same as the last and last and
last affirms this knowing. The street lamps darken one by one as we pass beneath them
on the sidewalk. Every car horn. Every street lamp. Like any night six years ago.

It’s late, it doesn’t matter. We turn up the street where we used to live. It feels good to be
outside, cold, good. They’ve painted the archway to our old building a matte brown. It’s
the dull brown of very old train cars. The life mixed out of the paint. There’s a light on in
the window that used to be your window. It’s too high up to see inside, but we stop
anyway, heads tilted into the clear, cold air. It feels good.

We turn onto the block with the performing arts high school. The doors are roped with
heavy chains. No lights inside. We listen, ears pressed to the cold wall, for the ghosts of
voices in the hallways. We feel silly but also we feel the whispered hope of high school,
the knowing that we would leave those lockered halls, and then what?

This is the future we spoke of, that whispered hope. It feels good to be here, cold, outside.
A few blocks from the street where we used to live. It is a night like any night six years
ago. Every car horn, every light flicking on or off inside every apartment window affirms
this knowing. It feels good, cold, good, this knowing, this future we spoke of, the traffic
light at the end of the block blinking gold, gold, gold, signaling the lateness of the hour,
the scarcity of cars, that time holds us: holds us to the cold wall, holds us still.


Kit Frick‘s poems have recently or will soon appear in places like PANK, CutBank, DIAGRAM, Conduit, H_NGM_N,and Jellyfish. Kit is currently Poetry Editor for Salt Hill and is an Associate Editor for Black Lawrence Press, where she edits the small press newsletter Sapling. Kit teaches and writes in central New York.