by Matthue Roth

I woke up 3 times tonight

with your face on my mind

like a song that set up residence

in my head.

I dreamt of you three times this week

each time I woke up on an airplane

going in different directions

each flying to a place

I say

is home.

I grew up in the Far East,

I mean, of Philadelphia

an Orient of coffeeshops and Chinese diners

and when I say I’m disoriented, I am —

I say, meet me on Market Street

and then I realize that’s an ocean away

or that the Market Street outside my window

is not the one

I grew up on

Every time you call me there’s an echo on the phone

like shouting across a canyon

I woke up on a bus today

staring up at the clouds

like I could walk on them

your face in my dreams is an echo too,

indistinct and staticky

Disorientation: the loss of the East

broadcasting your voice.

Hold that thought, Grandmom,

I’m coming home soon

all I gotta do is cross

the 3000 miles of dead air

they call the heartland

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Filed under Issue 5: The Far East, Poetry

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