“A Walk” by Raven Thatcher

I walk along powdered earth

Barren and bleached in the night

Steeped in the light of Orion’s hunt

It’s my favorite part

Feeling the air’s bitter whisper

Staring at the dry crevasses that

Could drown the Woolworth building

I know what I’m searching for

I could tell you if you asked me

The musk of creosote’s dry rain

The roaring melody of

Wind and crickets and

Wandering mountain lions

The stillness I feel with

My eyes still open

I lay my head back on carved limestone

A circular jutting mound

Trying to escape the dusty soil

But I don’t want to leave

I watch speckled dots in the sky

See them rise and dip at the horizon

These are the stars I’m keen for

The ones I’ve traced out with a child’s fingers

Their release – their acquittal – that’s I want

Reaching out to grab one

The dusty soil retreats from me

My stomach climbs into my throat

Like I’m riding the Cyclone at Coney Island

The sky’s yellow flare smacks me in the head

Its luster gone from me now

Only a glow from the furnace above

Gives me respite

The melody I bathed in

Now a sundry of snoring and chatter

I lie, eyes open

Tucked beneath the row of bunkbeds

My face cold and numb

Still pressed against

The splintered wooden floorboards

I watch dust collect in the cracks between them