Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 10 • Summer 2004 • Poetry

Truly Phototropic

Robert Siek

My fingernails appear synthetic under sunlight,
like snippets of clear plastic forced into my fingertips.
I picture Tupperware on a kitchen counter checkered with holes,
like a catcher's mitt for a live grenade, and Kevin crawls across the bed,
making my notepad a raft on the ocean. He buries his face into my arm,
like an angel hiding in a cloud, green eyes reflect light, reminding me
of identical satellite photos of planet Earth, and I'm tempted
to tear off his shirt and toss the notepad on the floor.
He blinks, watching me write; one of his legs crosses
the top of my right thigh, creating pressure like the weight
of a collapsed ceiling, dumped beams and rafters lying in loose piles.
I imagine being buried alive like a pair of firemen surviving,
while fifth-floor tenants of a midtown high-rise pass out
in smoke-filled hallways, flames causing walls to buckle.
Kevin sits up, reaching for the novel he's reading.
I keep pen to paper like sunshine was supporting me.
I'm plantlike by the window, reaching for something,
like life on a fire escape, children giggling four flights down
on the sidewalk. They ride bicycles and toss baseballs, playing
like heaven is on Earth, somewhere in New York City.

Robert Siek is a poet in New York City. He received his MFA in creative writing in May 1999 from New School University. He has read his work at various locations in New York City, such as the 11th Street Bar, The New School Cafe, Le Bar Bat, The Ear Inn, and Cornelia Street Cafe. His poems have appeared in Swallow Your Pride, Salonika, Bay Windows, Dwan, and The Rogue Scholars Collective. One poem is expected to appear in the 2004 issue of the Columbia Poetry Review. Robert also won the Chapbook Award Series from the New School Writing Program. New School published his chapbook, Clubbed Kid, in spring 2003.

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