A serviceable pool of light drips into dream
while my father haggles to highway back
before the sundown’s scrim. Which really
is dark’s absence, strip malls and invitation,
the slightly rancid smell of frying clams.
I cannot grasp the magnet of his East–
the lure of foul Elizabeth, how cities
always stink with raw desire. But I feel
our metallic body, how the car dreams of flight.
That somewhere on my father’s sweat-stained map
lies childhood. That he hungers to move on
before blue midnight orphans him.