Departure – Stephen Longfellow

	A moving shadow within the braided canyons of a city 
	pulls my head up and there, high above 

		moves a multitude 
of birds, 
	one living purpose,

		wave upon wave, 
			in dark, tattered banners 

		the wind blows away 

	beyond the sheer walls 
of concrete and glass 

	below the sky’s
brilliant river, 

		the vertigo 
	of movement 

	in air
	beneath water,

and I stagger 
	as though I 
			am standing 	
still 

	as a train pulls away 
	from its station, 

picks up speed
			—the profound sound
	of its passing—
	
			my sense 
of where I am
		slipping 

as I struggle
				to set myself 	
	right.


Stephen Longfellow lives in North Adams, Massachusetts, where he keeps busy renovating an old post-and-beam saltbox. His first collection, Disappearing Act, was released by FutureCycle Press in 2014.



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