Long

by james mckenna

 

 Everything in the mirror, the world and me. Things so far ahead I feel them tapping on my shoulder.  Things like harvesting basil, a call from my mother, my next shift, loneliness. My mother tells me her only dream these days is of safety. Another restaurant was robbed, have you called your aunt,  do not answer the door, they splash acid. My mother has grown tired of dreaming. This country has hurt her.  Fear and dreaming and the world and my mother and the mirror. These words fall like rain and land as what rain must become as it lands.  What I want is for my mother’s life to begin, which translates roughly to dreaming. A forgotten word for longing is 嫪, a woman standing next to a breeze.  For a long time I wanted every forgotten word because nothing else felt like this world. When I talk about the world I often mean the distance between me and this mirror.  In my dreams of the mirror my mother is every word I have no meanings for, meadowtreader, goldenrodshadow, 曈昽年, fullroomseason, 龙争虎斗国.  Longing is the very edge of the world, where things move most. Or, another way to say it is 想念, to remember the sensation of missing.  Or, 相今, meeting each other in this day, 心心, two hearts underneath, at the very bottom of things.

 

back to University & College Poetry Prizes