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.

Travel like Light

Related Posts

matthewson dispatch

On Empathy & Time, Re: Wildness

MELISSA MATTHEWSON
I killed a turkey and didn’t turn back, but the light from the passing afternoon was like honey, and with the traffic steady at four p.m. on the two-lane road and the storm having just moved east, I considered the death of the animal a possible inconvenience to my daily commute. A temporary delay. But no—that’s not what it made me feel.

Resen, Macedonia

Dispatches from Macedonia

TIARA DINEVSKA-MCGUIRE
The kingdom is collapsing inwards and tears down history as it falls. / We hear the vacant space where our language was kept; the absence / Growls as if it remembers once being full.

Karen Kao

Going Home

KAREN KAO
I thought we’d have a nice family dinner with my kids around the table. My husband and I would hand out our presents to family and friends and tell them our tales. Instead, I’ve been told to expect deserted streets and a city gone silent but for the sound of ambulances.