Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

What is the Purpose of Your Trip?; Advice

What is the Purpose of Your Trip?; Advice
Photograph via Flickr by marcia furman
What is the Purpose of Your Trip?

What is the purpose of your trip?
I am gathering time
Like daughters. Love of unbroken highways.
Putting the stars back together.
Tasting everything. All of the dank mushrooms
Of a German forest.
Everything in this world belongs
Somewhere in my mouth.

How long do you intend to stay?
Until my language comes. The seven continents know
My kingdom of want.
Play the universes like pianos.
Everywhere they are taking
honeybees away.
I will preserve each seed in the lexicon.
Do not deny me my destiny.
I will not stay for long.

Where will you be staying?
Inside the history of trains.
Not at the beach, but tucked
into a mollusk’s grieving shell.
Not in a house, I will house the world
with my singing.
This moon a hovering teacup
will tell me where I live.

What is your occupation?
I am an open net, running
after everything that moves,
a pair of eyes struggling to open,
I am tasked with writing about the wet needle of a pine
falling into a river of salmon,
the migration of monarchs. Everybody
must fall back to earth.
Your occupation is to forget
you saw me. To walk blind.

Are You Meeting Someone?
In the brothel I meet myself. In the river
some notion of God, the history of ice,
the right way to skin an onion. I meet you.
My long-forgotten mothers. The sisters I’ve never had.
In the face of my questioner I meet a stain.

Do you have anything to declare?
We have killed the bumblebee.
There are no borders.
This search and seizure is useless.
Take your hands off of me.
It’s my universe you are pulling from that bag.


The only true possession
is hunger. Not a suitcase
or a shoe to identify your foot.
It won’t matter how many pins you put
in the floating away tent of your body,
The wind will come.
Even the bees are in danger. The tiniest things
rip away the field. You travel until your body
becomes a bag. Natural leather of your heart.
Heavy with mountains now.
Busy as a hive full of memories.
Lie down where you are. Listen.
The river sings a shallow chant.
The sky tells you her story
the ragged migration of the milky way.
And the cows in the field
recite their poem. The one single poem
they have been telling each other
since the dawn of cow time.
You belong to them now.
The earth, quaking, like a lover
who has waited all her life for one honest,
unclothed stranger
to touch.