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.


In response to Via Negativa: Bohemian life.

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