The Possibility of Journey is a Heavy Thing
I’m sorry to hear you are filled with dread, that the featureless
voice reciting One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
Nest is attached to a bestselling
serial killer, prison-reformed, internet-famous. You confess
that moving from shower to towel, towel
to clothes seems undesirable
today, as treacherous as tsunami water filled with dead
livestock and entire city blocks, the open
road offers you no comfort
with its sudden end, a falling off. The murderer’s voice tells you
stories of mothers who lifted school buses
off the backs of their children
and you try to remember those waves of strength, adrenaline-
fueled and fearless, the first time you told
your father no, the day you jumped
from a plane with nothing to drag you back up but nylon.
My realtor friend roars like a lion at breakfast,
while her husband cowers behind
the daily news, nervous about ink on his fingers and the dilemma
of perfect whiteness in the form of a tablecloth
spread before him. She says,
it’s all in your head, but I must insist I’ve never wanted a mansion,
20 rooms flooded with imported rugs, my grand-
mother’s salt spoon collection,
large curio cabinets, walnut and oak, like coffins standing on end.
You say, dread, I say, tread lightly. With no thoughts
of vanquishing weak and hungry
neighbors, without dusting tabletops, the fear will dissipate, lyrics
left behind in a tangled parachute will return today,
like old prayer or new birds.
Beth Gordon is a poet who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for 17 years, but dreams of oceans daily. Her work has recently appeared in Verity La, Into the Void, Five:2:One, Barzakh, Quail Bell, and others. She can be found on Twitter @bethgordonpoet.