Restless Heart
Lisa Locascio

Oh the years and years of my life, passing as if on a train, on a train. Into winter darkness. The purpling gloam. Five hours from the airport in in my father-in-law's backseat, sky and water silvering down. Winking sense of land and sea and day into night. Leaving, escape, sharp and high into sun. The brightness of movement, of going. In old times that did not seem old it was like this—into the city as the sky, mouth weaving, and the train gulped big. The conservatory glass dome wove between buildings, was woven, a snake past the second-floor diners that served jewelers and closed at two o'clock where I ate matzoh ball soup on lunch from my video art class. That teacher in his white pants and empty hallways. Our rented cameras coiled inside me, ingrown, as I ride out to teach people older now than I was then.

Flight always saving me, drawing me through years and breath, waking me again on the stranger's floor in the stranger's place, the stranger's cat cawing at me. At my saddest I go hoofing to strangers. Sleep in the careworn must on their careful dusty floors, in their absent faces. Running to prove out pain, be near breath, my hair lifting from my neck in its own two-step float.

I was little when it started. A little girl. We drove out summer nights to our lake house, the car packed with meat and vegetables and candy, we drove through fields and towns where life was so twain I hardly felt it beating there. We drove through those twilit hamlets and had dinner at magisterial Chinese restaurants and at places where they buttered the burger bun. We bought groceries under screaming tubes in blue-and-white boxes. In my lap I clutched the new toys my parents gave me praying do not leave me restless heart.

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