Poem with a line from Ilya Kaminsky
The darkness, a magician, finds quarters
behind our ears— every single time,
quick wave of a hand, twirl of fingers that brush
dangerously close to the face. Long past childhood,
of course now we know they were planted there.
But always, we act genuinely startled; we giggle
nervously, comb out our hair, pick out sudden twigs,
moss and bramble, dried curl of bark as if we’d slept
all night in a forest lair. And who’s to say
where the soul has lodged in between stations?
It rouses itself and treks out again in the cold
mornings, washes its dirt-streaked face in the stream.
It holds out a hand to thumb a ride as vehicle
after vehicle passes its dusty figure on the road.