I was stuck inside the second person
and didn’t have time for anyone,
wandering through the intersection
of this and that, there and the other
way of saying the mind is a magician
that improvises its act as it goes on:
you, posing for a photograph to resist
the inevitable question of time and place,
you, opening a letter and pausing to contemplate
each possible outcome. You switch
to the present sotto voce, then board a ferry
to a city you’ve only read about in books
that have long since lost their battles
with cultural relevance. Amidst the feeling
that something is always watching you. Where
are you going? You brace yourself
against the coming tide of here and then.
As if anyone could ever know.
Eric Stiefel lives in Athens, Ohio with his dog, Violet. He teaches at Ohio University, where he is also pursuing a PhD in English with a concentration in poetry. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Apple Valley Review, The Louisville Review, Nightjar Review, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere.