She stops early, and for three minutes
she is caught in an absence of being.
All around her, arms
scribble frantically until the invigilator’s voice
subdues them and they fall.
A forest of chair legs uproots.
She is washed down the curving staircase
by students who hug and cry and wave. She
squeezes behind them and steps
towards the door-shaped patch of light.
On the other side, people line the pavement
calling to friends. Light summer rain
mixes with confetti. A champagne bottle
balloon has come free.
A ribbon trails behind it as it weaves