Say there is a map. Burnished. Tobacco and
salt litter surfaces: Lake Ontario. Massapequa.
That street stall of memory. A pinpoint, where
the map is all we have and it slips in a blink,
like a planet vanishing. Vastness is this blanket
of space. There is no doubt belief is a magnet.
Iron alloyed. Aligned. You see, I am trying to
make metaphor of the reason I feel lost. Here,
outside the perfect maze of my house, a train rushes
into the distant blank horizon as if it became aloft
quite spontaneously. As gears kick in, the compass
of everything I thought I knew rises to a crest
I cannot catch. Lost in the coordinates of every past
mistake, I grope in the dark for a ticket. Enter
the station anyway I can. Enjoy the mosaics, free
jazz played by the trumpet player busking for tips.
Object permanence posits just because a solid
is hidden from view, it doesn’t mean it’s gone.
But I’ve been looking a lifetime for misplaced faith,
turned up only crumbs and spare change. I’ve stood
in queue and taken my seat on the deck. All my life
this moving forward. The scenery a rush of blur and
haze, speck and half-paid recognizance. Uncertain
how much longer I have. All I know is it won’t last.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. Nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, her recent poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including The Penn Review, The Shore, The West Review, Glass: A Poetry Journal, Radar Poetry, South Florida Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Her most recent collection, ANIMAL, is now available from Futurecycle Press. Find out more at: aliciamariehoffman.com