The god I’d left behind sent one last email before returning to his people. That summer was sixty-five degrees and fluorescent. I was working at a law firm. The logical mind thinks, You’ll be paid for your suffering. Paradise is of this earth and it is yours, said the copy-machine. The impenetrable old growth of paper on my desk begged to be made irrelevant. When I took off my skirt-suit I felt like my mother, or myself done pretending to be my mother. I stood at the edge of a New World. I stared up the long rocky coast. Whichever way was something to bump against I pressed on in that direction. It was like a sickness. It was like the uncontrollable urge to eat dirt.
Copyright © 2013 by Cynthia Lowen. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on December 27, 2013.
"I’ve been exploring how the 19th century concept of manifest destiny—driving the westward expansion across North America in the 1800s—might play out in the context of a modern-day relationship. What frontiers in ourselves, our environments, and each other do we seek out and attempt to dominate? What motivates us to forge towards the unknown?"