Just about a month from now I'm set adrift,
a diploma for a sail and lots of nerve for oars.
These marvels surpassed Superman
flying over Gotham, hands stretched out
catching thermals, staring down—
eyes drilling through reinforced concrete.
These marvels required a flying carpet,
a passport beyond the fire escape,
a bus beyond the last stop where the city stops,
beyond the red yo yo going around the world
on a twisted Egyptian string
and over the last tree
on one hundred seventy-sixth street.
At night I conjured up Tibet
before I found Tibet on a map—
I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on foot
the year before I lay on Jones Beach
and my ears burned till they bled.
While walking to the end of my street
I visualized Mongolia
and the Sphinx burning up in the desert.
When the heat sent people outside
and fire hydrants turned into spouting whales
I traveled on a donkey
down Bright Angel trail
and bathed in the Colorado.
I placed my hand on the Book of Marvels,
inhaled the footsteps
and vowed to walk up Mt Fuji,
vowed to be intrepid,
to travel to places first
before they entered on anyone's itinerary.
Linda Watskin ©2010