national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Dream 737

Molly McGinnis  • 
American University

We are standing on a street in Manhattan.
The traffic light: cinched red lips.
It is 1975, twenty years before we were born,
a few months after the war.


Every windshield is cloudless and full of trees.
Someone has just painted STOP in fresh yellow letters
on the pavement, reaching out like flashlight beams
toward a vanishing point where two towers rise.


But we are not looking at them—
you are watching a man shave out on his balcony,
I am drinking orange juice,
waiting for the light to change.