the other side

i want to shine
like the milk chocolate cheeks
of the boy on the banana bike
waiting to cross
i’m waiting to cross out old accounts
and learn a new math
with no numbers
no memory
i’m waiting to cross
from this sweatbox of porous walls
to the other side
where there’s a clear view
of the strand of beech trees leaning to the north
but first i want to baptize
myself in the river
to pick up stones with my toes
to go the distance
(whatever that might be)
i want to lie on the beach of clouds
in the black sky
and soak in the stars
to shine like my cat’s black fur
after a tongue bath
like the moon glowing
under my nails
i want to shine
across the shadow
my mind projects onto the next day
shine on into that day
into the clouds
into the rain
i want to ride
with no hands
i want to get
to the other side

wendy shaffer

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