Travel like Light

By BRIGIT KELLY YOUNG

i want to travel with you like light, all over
wine and gondoliers, round pink-faced foreigners, street lamps
my hand in your black hair
and because we’re often laughing, we laugh
at how precious the buildings are in this drunken city
like piles of leaves we jump inside them


or we could go to rome, where my father once lived
see the book-shelved room he read to me in
we’ll look out the window at the curb where
a purple-haired nanny vroomed up on a boyfriend’s bike
they showed me how to kiss
through Roman glass, through panes, i gasped
i want to remember this together
could we go to new jersey?
visit ice cream queens and good doctors?
drive through golden arches to reach warm homes?
you told me there are cancer clusters there but i don’t care
because if you get through the bad smell
you reach tree-lined streets with patriotic names
and jewish converts raising guatemalans
i want to go to an island
wave in front of you
like a memory
my body a polka-dot on sand
our future is a dream in technicolor
we see it glisten behind white clouds
once i was gray, and see
i never liked gray, its lightless
gray things are dusty
they’ve faded from the sun, from years left in cupboards
they hold inky words
and rub off on fingers as they bring bad news
moths are gray too
my mother pours brown on her head to keep the gray out
gray things are sad
i’ve felt love that’s gray
melancholy like an old photograph
gray never goes anywhere, like mist it hovers
your light shone on my grayness
now i am silver
i look like a cheerful spoon
i dream of us throwing old albums and newspapers and broken picture frames off the edge of some venetian boat, me tucked beneath your arm like a book, as we float off on the current, toward the silver speckles in your beard
because i used to be stuck here
i never travelled
i cried too easy and wept too hard
but now i’m holding light even though it is hot and has no hands
i bounce it between my palms, and follow you
you’ve been places
you’ve seen carousels and eaten sweet chocolates
your mother has ordered you a drink in spain
you’ve walked on every city street
glanced out through many windows
and seen
so take me with you
to that light filled place

and hold me in shimmer
our skin like butterfly wings
under your new york lamp
you kiss me like a home does
and tell me of all the places
we are going

 

Brigit Kelly Young’s poetry and fiction have appeared in journals that include Gargoyle MagazineDrunken Boat MagazineThe North American ReviewEclectica MagazineMidwestern Gothic and 2 River View.

Emma CroweTravel like Light

Related Posts

Cover of At Home in the New World

Review: Hurtling in the Same Direction – At Home in the New World

SUSAN TACENT
Maria Terrone’s grandparents were among the estimated nine million people who emigrated from Italy between 1881 and 1927. While her parents were born in the United States, her connection to Italy is deep, informing her identity and experiences as much as being a lifelong New Yorker has.

Island Lessons

CHARMAINE WILKERSON
Scorpions, jellyfish, poisonous flowers. My orientation as a young newcomer to a Caribbean island began with a litany of how to avoid being stung or cut or poisoned or burned.

parfitt 1

Practicing Disaster

GEORGINA PARFITT
To practice meeting a cougar in the forest, I pick up a branch and swing it ahead of me across the trail. Make yourself as big as possible, the pamphlet said. If you’re a small woman, make yourself look as big as a man.