Since I was a kid, it’s always
the same dream.
I run right off the porch
and jump the fence.

Usually, I run past the park
to the culvert under Forest Street,
but tonight
there’s a shiny Ford Fairlane
under the old Junior High’s
boiler room window.

I love boiler rooms.
They’re like having a basement
anywhere you go.
I boost up on the Fairlane
and climb in. The whole room
seems to catch
its breath with me.

The window starts shaking
and the door creeks open.
Thanks, man, I say, because
all basements speak
the same language, and run
all three flights, then down the hall.
The Girls’ Room door
is swinging. I jump sideways
into the Sewing Room,
which looks like a mill
we saw on a class trip to Lowell
last week. Whoever made this room
shouldn’t have put in
so many windows. They make it feel
like an observation chamber.

Through the windows, it’s dusk.
Two figures are talking
on the swings.
He’s looking
at the slide.
She’s looking
at my house.

The windows start to rattle, one
by one.
they’re shaking.
they crack.


Added: March 3, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014