Manifest Destiny

The god I’d left behind sent one last email 
before returning to his people.

That summer was sixty-five degrees and fluorescent. 
I was working at a law firm.

The logical mind thinks,
You’ll be paid for your suffering.

Paradise is of this earth 
and it is yours,
said the copy-machine.

The impenetrable old growth of paper on my desk 
begged to be made

When I took off my skirt-suit I felt like my mother, or myself

done pretending 
to be my mother.

I stood at the edge 
of a New World.

I stared up the long rocky coast.

Whichever way was something to bump against 
I pressed on in that direction.

It was like a sickness.
It was like the uncontrollable urge 
to eat dirt.

Copyright © 2013 by Cynthia Lowen. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on December 27, 2013.