Every few summers right before the kids return, the cones & ropes come out directing traffic somewhere else. There's a potbellied trailer spattered & smoking, surrounded by men in fluorescent vests & tarred steel toed boots. The asphalt goes down thick & clean, the oily heat rainbowing & distorting the new view. Then a slower process, stencils & block letters, striping & labeling: students & faculty, visitors & diagonally reserved spots we hope never to need, a reminder of the everyday horrors that happen somewhere else.
Years later the colors return to the earth, as we all must. Cracked & bubbled, a broad mottled stripe thrown into relief by sun & time. The lines, faded & crumbling, can still keep us safe. We remember where we belong.
On April 27, I sent my students outside with their phones to return with photos of different colors. This is inspired by a color I found.