/ Spencer Vossman

Poetry1 min reading time

Most nights (except
maybe around the holidays)
some man or disembodied voice
drives by my apartment
and yells something
slurry and guttural:
roughly. It’s like clockwork.

I keep the window
open these nights
so I can hear
the outside growls
of engine revs
and imagine
jungle cats rioting
down autobahns.

So I can track
the laborious soar
of fire trucks —
hulking red-hot missiles
tunneling down
two-lane streets. Listen
to sirens’ echoes
like hellish whale calls
searing through traffic.

So passing cars
begin sounding like
ocean flow —
an insistent ebb dragging
equal parts sand
and abandonments
back into submergence,
wheels of birth
skidding along the seas.

Sounding like
the stable whir of passing planes
lifting me up until I’m frequent flyer
16A in economy who
keeps the window
fixed in sight as
the lights below snake out like
lucent roots from some deep
urban tree and
there it always is:
the swoon over my city!
adoration for places
I’ll never own a piece of.

I could stare at the horizon
during reluctant descent,
return to a world I know
both too well and
not nearly enough.

I could land with a jolt,
step off this vessel,
stop breathing
in the same recycled air
as before. I could quit searching
for stories hidden inside
window screen mesh, dreaming up
folktales from maps of stars
gleaming above.
Lend the drive-by guy
some lasting peace.

I need nothing.
I crave change.