Chopin’s E-flat, a midday nocturne
on the radio in the blaze of July heat
tinkling the absent moon’s soft face
on my way to the Wonder Book
dispensary of printed dreams, a country
station playing oldies—and this anomaly
of fragile sound as I pass the oldsters’ home,
the custard stand, and Taco Bell, the blistering
asphaltic tenor of the road, a dual highway
blinkered with noon tar and switched-off neon
hopes down-windowed in hot air, my arm
hung out to dry in light and me listing
dreamward as though waking in a cantilena
of the past, the keys of memory striking
the gossamer seams that keep the sky
together, the familiar edge and surface
where I turn and smooth my way into the
parking lot, and now the bookshop’s outdoor
tables with their magic lode of worlds and
the string of stars bound round their foreheads
behind which the slopes of Chimborazo rise
among the golden foothills of the sun.

About the author

A Ukrainian by birth, Askold Skalsky's travel credentials include escaping with his life from what used to be Yugoslavia and with his money from…

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Issue 21 · October 2014

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