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en·try (ˈentrē/)

dialect

a passage between buildings | Dohm Alley on Nassau

When night has fallen and you are scurrying down Nassau in the direction of home, you notice a little archway (sometimes strung with Christmas lights, blinking gently) between Starbucks and the Old World apparel shop and you decide to venture the world beyond, the dark alleyway of urban myth and under-legend. You are greeted by poems by poets of the old, all their “thees” and “thous” pressed in plastic lamination and dangling before you in invitation. Beside you, the quaint stillness of fake decor moss and a discarded sculpture of a naked woman.

pas·sage (ˈpasij/)

noun

(of a migrating bird) the action of passing through a place en route to its final destination | East Pyne staircase

After you walk in circles attempting to find your advisor’s office, you are at a loss trying to exit the third floor. The diamond pane on your right warps the small square courtyard outside, and on the left, you almost miss the nondescript door next to the nondescript fire alarm labelled ‘stairs.’ You descend the most palatial landing—the staircase full of corners yet simultaneously angle-less in the cloudy warmth of the light. This would be a passage to Narnia, you think, in the spacious corridor you could picture a character of imagination descending the steps with you.

pass·ing (ˈpasiNG/)

adjective

in the process of coming to an end | McCosh on the way to Friend, from East Pyne

You’ve passed by this statue many times without seeing it correctly—the black glossy figures lingering in your peripheral, what appears to be a man kneeling defenseless before the other and his sword—the moment of death frozen, or perhaps replaying over and over in its infinite millisecond, or perhaps this isn’t death at all, but a moment of ascension (or thankfulness). And in your line of vision, twin arches materialize like a medieval fast-food chain logo or portals for two loved ones or two balancing dancers timid to rise up and become what they are.

proc·ess ( ˈpräˌses,ˈprōˌses/)

noun

a systematic series of mechanized or chemical operations that are performed in order to produce or manufacture something | Frist A-Level

Late meal? Late meal? Late meal? The mantra pulses as people sweep in and out like a tide. A gray door rolls up, the quesadilla bar comes to life. You trek up the stairs and brace yourself for a cold wind. The weight of the synergy of man is like a magnet pulling the door out of Level 1 shut. Don’t leave, don’t leave, don’t leave.

per·form (pərˈfôrm/)

verb

entertain an audience, typically by acting, singing, or dancing on stage | Woodrow Wilson Statues Outside Whitman

You are overtaken by Dionysian madness and flee to the mountains outside Whitman where the heads of twelve animals stand like patient observers in the night. You enter the circle and the eyes never leave you. Around and around you whirl as you gaze up at each monstrous head, and this is your ritual dance—your life flashes by in its twelve-year increments, the dragon always reappears, the rat predictable in its attentiveness. Here there is only memory of the entry, you cannot remember how to leave.

stage (stāj/)

noun

a particular phase | Entry to Louis A. Simpson Level A that snakes through a little garden

The garden reminds you of what it is like to look at a blank space and seek to fill it. You have never seen more effort exerted to aestheticize this small corner of the earth. A hop and a skip down brick steps, past spindly plants that used to blush with white flowers. The garden is dead now but will come alive in the spring. One day you’ll be walking by and the old spiky bush will be torn away with fresh stinky earth in its place.

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