"So What If I Am Floating Here / So Dangerously Without My Space Helmet" 

- for Elise

When I am bored I make the sound
of a donut shop closing its doors
for the night. Which is highly
metaphorical, maybe
even hard to imagine.
Here is a golden petrel. I have
brought it to You from the south
of Peru. Also in Peru: excessive
babies. Several nurseries
are feeling sour and also physically
closing due to unfavorable climates
of the economic persuasion. I will never
know how it feels to hold 
400 dollars in my right hand waving
at departed cruise liners
with my left. Which is Okay.
In the same way that table
tennis is Okay. In the same
way that Oakland is Okay
most days (when the dead
weather is right). Okay, so not
every lighthouse is lit
with a greying flame. Maybe
all TV sets come with a satellite
fixture but no actual way to physically
reach the cosmos. Which is what I hope
to bring you here, so lost and wrecked
on my knobby moped. In three years
a man will sing Ave Maria into the palm
trees of deep space, and I will still need help 
backing out of the driveway. What I mean 
to say is look at all these pictures of California
grass—pasto pare, malojilla—in the sweaty 
chamber beneath the drive-thru diner.
Remember the one? The time
outside where the sign said FREE
CHAIR and when you went to take it
it was already gone? Please recall
every old lover and let them know you 
are finally a golden bird. So what
if you accidentally found the rough
equivalent of God in a lake-stained
box of burnished fishing lures? Does it hurt
when I tap your leg like that? If so then
maybe space travel isn’t for everyone.
Then again, you try telling that
to the overeager scientist, so stupid
in love with his own nauseous orbit.


Dillon J. Welch is an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU. His work has appeared in CutBank, ILK, Jellyfish, Phantom Limb, Switchback and other journals. He is currently Editor of AMRI and Poetry Editor of Swarm. Find him at: www.dillonjwelch.com