- Speeches & Remarks
Assistant Dean of Students for Administrative Services and Family Relations
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 865-7163
Greetings from the Graduating Class
Wyatt Cameron McMurry '14, Residential Graduate
I yelled Cheddar over Beyonce’s voice
and Big Dog tossed a pita onto the grill.
How many annunciations does it take—American,
in the grease-anointed pub air until the words
boom their own strange music?
Freshman year I sat before my teachers,
marveling between texts
at the radical light they held in their skulls.
They seemed to rise or perhaps the quad
fell slowly around them, my hands
snatching at their hems wondering where the story
led. I swelled into the space between stars their words
opened in the mind’s sky - breathing new this south beach wind
as if the ripples their voices shook
in the surface of things
meant the stirring of buried worlds, each an undiscovered
country, a garden, a delicious secret.
I watched a rope of oil sling
onto the grill and dreamed of every chicken pita I’d ever
eaten: outside Siebert, at the library steps,
on some dirty stretch of clay lab concrete, kiln heat
shuffling sweat through my hair.
Sometimes I want to text that former self, that former you, or us.
I want to say steal pleasure! before this white tent
splits who I was and what I become
into two long swaths of palm hammock,
and I must scatter lizards in an unknown thicket, the brush fire
smoke of student loans still hot on my tongue.
Tell me in the heaven of careers, in the infinity
of internships, in the pastoral paradise of honest work, tell me
now there is room enough for our young bodies.
Tell me now some south beach of the mind will build
honey in my skull and some Facebook
of the soul will hold the threads
we took time to fasten to one another in flicker-lit
corridors, sigma caves, moon-splashed
and round until we came out strange
with wonder at each other’s presence:
faces that will face us
across years, still speaking, filling up the inbox
with their sweet breath.
Big Dog cut my baked potato open.
the last chicken pita? I wondered,
as I took the basket, the cheese still sizzling in my hands.
I passed, pocketed my card,
and heard the pub doors close. This is it.