Thursday, June 30, 2011

Overlay (poem)

there are two towns…

The first welcomes you, a stranger;
saffron side streets like one-act plays unrolling
nothing in the expected place.
The ghost of the town you left
overlays its face, confusing
the issue further.

Every direction in new coordinates:
East by NewEast by Sudden by West;
maps tied to every venture
distance will not settle into one length.
You are not yet here, as they are
who walk so easy on untranslated sidewalks
who navigate by hidden grids.
Cafes, bookstores, groceries —
find touchstones; find the core.

Approach like a lover
and it will let you in.

The second, found under the first
when newness rubs off:
your new home town. As years etch
invisible pathways, you overlay comfort’s GPS,
your autopilot unerring
except at scattered moments, catching
a startled glimpse — scrap of first town —
the stranger-glaze showing
and you wonder how you could ever
have so mistaken it.

copyright 2011, Catherine McGuire

This poem is part of a chapbook tentatively titled, "Reflections, Echoes and Palimpsests" to be released in September by Uttered Chaos

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