The ancient Peruvians carved an enormous hummingbird
into the desert floor, so big it could only be seen
from space, and just because somebody said
it would never fly.
I’m like that, a man made of water, standing
at the bottom of the lake,
surrounded by myself.
But never mind when there are great wings
beating silently overhead, when the humming
is too deep to hear. Last time, I rode for miles
in a '78 Plymouth with tribal plates
and a bumper sticker that reads
I break for anyone.
When I was a kid, every house on our street
was upside down. I would call to Tommy
and out the front door he would crawl,
carefully edging down aluminum siding
until he could safely drop
from an upstairs window ledge.
Poor Tommy, they never found the heart
that killed him.
But you know in the Odyssey, when old Ulysses goes
to Hell and sees the shade of his mother?
When he tries to hug her, his arms pass through.
Not because she’s dead.
Because she’s his mother.
Still, some of us glow in the dark.
Every single one of us glows in the light.
But no one can tell.
BENJAMIN MYERS’S latest book is Lapse Americana (forthcoming in February 2013 from NYQ Books). His recent poems may be read in The New York Quarterly, Salamander, Nimrod, DMQ Review, Tar River Poetry, and many other journals. His first book, Elegy for Trains, won the 2011 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry. With a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, Myers teaches poetry writing and literature at Oklahoma Baptist University.