Ed Madden

Outside the law school


As I walked to the law auditorium
for a reading, a boy in a sweaty tee
crossed the walk, so close I could smell him. 

Two girls at the crosswalk beside me
watched him—that thin shirt, thick
limbs—and the first stopped her story 

about her grandpa’s friend—drunk
or something
, she said, told some woman
if I weren’t already married, think 

I’d marry you. Sweat glazed his arm.
People milled outside the auditorium.
The cold October sun was pale and warm.