If Buildings Could Hold Memories

An ode to my freshman dorm.

Illustrated by Rachel Lee.

As I lie in bed I can’t help but look out the window

At the Manhattan skyline grid that comforted me on restless nights

On other nights I look at the art I’ve hung up all over the walls

They’ve become a scrapbook for everything new and everything old

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And I picture myself taking it all down again

I wonder who were the people before me

Who also hung up and took down their art

Who struggled to find some empty space to hold another piece of their lives

Did they find themselves wondering

Of the memories that passed through this room before they made their own?

Or the friendships that were made

The times we cried ourselves to sleep from the homesickness

The moment we could finally call this home?

Did they wonder, like me, of who will come after

And claim this space their own

Brimming with excitement and anxiety

But ready to make the same memories?

What if buildings could hold these memories —

Would they always tell the same story

Of the freshman who felt like they had conquered the world?

Email Vaishnavi Naidu at [email protected]

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