A Spell of Internal Exile
Published in Slope
There was plenty of time to sit and stare
at the light bulb. Songbirds enabled us to listen
to music at the time and place of our choosing.
We let our marbles roll around in traffic.
Twice, with my stepfather, I attached tiny transmitters
to attractive women to track their dreams.
We were astonished to find that certain ladies
had the skill to travel one million miles
in just one night. Mom was such a critter.
Is that how they met so soon after father's death?
I inherited her unique set of mutations.
My brother got the rattan lawn furniture.
Back then, if a man wanted to grow ideas
he'd place a longneck lamp down his pants
to accelerate the magnetic fields and gases
in the atmosphere, creating auroras
over northern latitudes. Then a boy might take
his father's hand and walk into the backyard.
They might put their backs to the earth and the boy
might ask the big questions: How does hair grow?
Why don't clouds fall? What's the deadliest snake?
Then a stream might appear out of the blue
with a surface perfect for skipping. Back then
after 16 stones had been cast, that was that.