Against Travel

A wrought-iron dragon
tries to swallow me.
Snake arms, spiked teeth.

I wake with my fingers pressed
to my eyes. Strange gulls.
Fearful crying. Air stirs white silk

rippling at windows.
Enters it, lets it drop. I’m afraid
of its length like a shroud.

I rise and dress.
Black makes me slender,
but it’s unstable. Streaks surface

on my clothing—
maps of gin-soaked continents.
Crowds on the streets

push past me. I’m sick of
museum Buddhas, throngs
of saints. Tired of imperfect

darkness. I need the languages
I grew up with, the wind
and dust of home.

About the author

Searching for new birds for her life list takes Barbara Daniels all over the US, and to Italy and the UK as well. Her…

Read the full bio

Issue 18 · June 2013

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