Contrails | Stephanie Pushaw

1 min read

Our compasses fail us again and again, 
leading us along the wrong magnetic fields, 
yet we sail still through quiet seas 
under the false mathematics of north. 

What the frontier means. Not conquering. 
Not masculinity, not 
like the blank box on a calendar, not 
the space between numbers on the face of a clock. 

It’ll always be like this: 
the knots that tie me to the real world
permanently straining. I’ll never wander,
like you, sure of its geography. 

I feel old, like the things that grow
in mineral clumps on the inner skin of caves,
things that have taken a million years 
to bring forth crystals. 

The stairs to the beach go down, and keep going down: 
the waves keep crawling up to palm trees, exhaling salt. 
In the sky the stewardesses 
serve Bloody Marys to hungover blondes 
and tilt their necks for a glimpse of the ocean.