Beyond the 45th Parallel
I want alchemy from this ocean,
not these metaphors of endlessness.
I have driven two hundred miles in a rented car
for alchemy. Past the Burnt Woods
and the Chitwood Bridge. Over
the 45th Parallel marked by a small sign.
They are all small signs, he’d say—
but he’d mean something literal
about the footlong oblong, the green
behind white lettering. While I
imagine grass limp in the equatorial sun,
snow adrift at the pole—equidistance
compressed to a metal slate.
Like alchemy endlessness is a fiction.
We are always halfway to somewhere.
I want more than transmutation:
I want the god I pray to to be real.