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Small Traveler

ISSUE:  Fall 2019


This is not my making                                                             any ecstatic,

sleep-deprived screed

affirming what is reincarnation.

Yet for so many throbs of my heart

during the self-pitying pre-dawn                                          hours, I have 

watched you on the infant monitors

etched in night-

vision green.       You sit up                                     like a flummoxed soul 

newly returned to the Earth’s cradle—

panning, without panic,

the geometry of your blue- 

walled nursery.

Outside, the sun waits to rise so that humankind can continue ending. 

I am tired but not

foolish enough to presume

                     the gaze you have—one that lathes the hard dark like a lighthouse beam—

is one ignorant of our waning world.


Matteroffact:  She has landed here before,

I think. Your brain a box unboxing

old maps half-true, half-useless                           atop the freshly burned 

skin of nations. Lie back down

though you are not

animated by some trance to be dislodged from.


that, too, you never do. 

How chafing the bed to one who has already lived a lifetime

worth of nightmare  and dreaming? You soon convince 

yourself to throw over one pajama’d leg

    and lift your body across the crib rail’s ledge. 

You plummet—breaching into the day’s painful 

boundlessness, drawn again to this

    irresistible pilgrimage of falling.



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