A Walk Through the Parking Lot at Midnight

The worm goes its whole life
without owning a face.

One angular stream of light,
it eats through darkness alone.

Tonight cities sleep underground
waiting to be rediscovered.

Atoms lie pressed
by the weight of cars.

I walk through the parking lot, moving
from one sky to another.

I wanted to live forever, but
metal rusts, plastic melts thin.

Each atom swirls through the space of my body
like a salmon swimming through Alaska.

Carbon atoms bumping into each other in a stream.

This night is a picture of the brain.
Neurons fire through the darkness like meteors.

I walk from one night to another.
Moon of the skull orbiting the earth,

and inside my body, the bones shimmering in the darkness
like stars.

First published by The Cincinnati Review, 8.1, Summer, 2012
Winner of the Robert and Adele Schiff Prize