Poem submission by Stephanie Pushaw
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.