Published on Academy of American Poets (


I navigate the dark house by moving from the green star of the smoke detector to the blue star of the electric toothbrush. I am no different than Magellan or Marco Polo, I am guided by what burns. Some nights I step onto the back porch. The prow of it charges the blackness, while the stars above me sharpen and blur. Inside, I harbor the ache of what is no longer possible.


Copyright © 2017 Charles Rafferty. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.


Charles Rafferty

Charles Rafferty is the author of several poetry collections, The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017).

Date Published: 2017-07-27

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