I certainly would have saved these: the scent of patchouli thick as a path
my students followed to the chairs in my office—the ones I loved
to see them in; the quick turn toward knowing when my voice, thrown
into a classroom, met its target, caught someone off guard just enough
to make meaning; every first day of school; the callow belief
in my own perpetual youth. Had I known, these would be close at hand,
having been carefully preserved, not as afterthoughts but
at the very moment they fell into being. I didn’t, though. I did not know.