It never really felt like home.
There was a large Pontiac in
the driveway. I don’t remember
the model. I was young and spent
a good part of my days staring at
the bare branches next to the cement
and brick wall by the Sears Warehouse.
There was no glitter raining from
a friendly hand. Search for the comet,
make a wish, one day I’ll ride
a dragonfly to galaxies, above the tears,
weeds, and the time she ran over
my kitten, never noticing that my heart
could shatter so easily with each breath
in the hot Fort Lauderdale summer.
Friendship and Atari were distractions
from sweat and alcohol. Occasionally,
I’d walk to Chris’ apartment, counting
bird droppings along the way. This was
likely the closest I’d get to South Florida
snow. Rows of lawn chairs and auto shops
lined avenues and boulevards. I hoped for
an alchemist who never came. Tin cans,
bottle caps, baseball cards, palm trees,
and a clergyman committed to memory.
Objects in a child’s teacup on a wooden
beam. Gravity can be a strong oppositional
force to the imagination. Some days, I chased
daydreams, hoping to illuminate. I quit my
first job because the Summer Olympics
was more important. I felt a strong impulse
to watch the sprinters jump hurdles, to run,
to keep running, and to eventually run with
and past them at light speed, leaving
everyone and 16th Street behind.
(now)here / nowhere
Tomorrow is an electric song
craving the moon above the
temple of spring. Though we
may have touched grief, your
white blouse, torn jeans, and
silhouette ruffled the robin’s
feathers, reminded me how
charming assumptions could
be in the silence of Chronos,
with promises of silk sheets and
long journeys. The microcosms
and misplaced opportunities
reinforce habits that we’d
rather keep for now, because
there’s no better reason to
make potatoes into vodka.
Constellations hover on the
velvet ocean, darkened theatre.
We’ll snack on leftovers
between stoplights, coughing
up our childhood in staccato,
shameless on the mountain
roads, illuminating in-between
thunder and ecstasy. I will be
the eagle perched in your nest.
I will be the air caressing your
inner thigh. I will be the
rising tide surging forward,
embracing the horizon.
John Casquarelli is the author of two full-length collections: On Equilibrium of Song (Overpass Books, 2011) and Lavender (Authorspress, 2014). He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Long Island University—Brooklyn and is a Lecturer at Koc University in Istanbul. John was awarded the 2016 Kafka Residency Prize in Hostka, Czech Republic and a 2017 residency at the Writer’s Room of The Betsy Hotel on South Beach. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.