Campus Alert – Evelyn Reynolds

They open classroom doors, find schools of tigerfish
aflash above plastic desks. The walls go linen, fling
and flurry when the wind’s out of the north, so when
they leave their offices, they must trace the curves
of halls grown fond of nip-and-tuck. The Trustees
send a man who says, “Ineffable,” as desks, projectors,
tiles, lavatories, files riff a flapping fugue to ears
gone deaf, grown eager. Windows billow into maps, revile
attempts at travel. At escape. A cable on the roof
ignites an owl, which tumbles from tenth floor
to basement. A professor sprints, tries to catch it, finds
hands flayed by feathers ablaze, eyes blasted by beak
still leaping with Germanic rigor. Tap and rattle, stray
concrete blocks turn trilobites. Books grow legs, creeping
from threshold to threshold. Shelter? Janitors
blockade the labs. Secretaries find a new species
of winged lion under their desks. Attentiveness, a certain
safety – those who cradle these creatures like fleeces
left to soak up dew – they creep out to see a spinning
building as brilliant, as upflinging as altar-fire.


About the Author: Raised in Oklahoma, Evelyn Reynolds earned her MFA in poetry and her PhD in medieval English literature from Indiana University. Her work often explores relationships between faith, nature, suffering, and other arts and languages. Her poems have also appeared in Eborakon, Midwest Review, and New England Review. You can hear her read some of her other pieces at and

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