Eleven Travels


On the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria

I spotted a pair of eyeglasses

dangling off the platform.

I ran to the deck searching for the rest of the person.


I thought it unpatriotic to spell camping with a K

but Washington made up for it with colonies

of rapidly reproducing bunnies.


We reached a desert plateau worn down

by years of gods and their wars.

We rolled down sand dunes into the lap of Israel.


On Long Island I met three generations of Jews

who didn’t look like me,

sound like me, smell like me.

I preferred the crawdads in the pond

below the willow—

they were in kindergarten too.


Heath Shepard skinny-dipped in front of me

(my eyes were closed)
in the moonlight of
Lake Almanor.

He liked me because I outran him.

I liked him because he didn’t mind

not holding my hand.


Sometimes we ran in Lorca’s park.

Words fell with the leaves.

Trees are greener in another language.


Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Pepin, Wisconsin.

I begged my parents to take me to her Big Woods.

“Let’s make popcorn balls instead,” said my mom.

The molasses would have tasted sweeter

in a log cabin.


Once on the Sacramento River Dad cut the engine.

We drifted to the buzz of riparian radio.

Up between the dreadlock vines of river trees

a colony of egrets swayed—a white cloud.

When I waterski they follow me,

a train of wings.


I’d never seen a dale until Edinburgh.

In the woods, we found a small wooden door

carved into the trunk of a tree.

“For fairies,” Mary said.

A little girl stacked sticks nearby

to keep them warm in winter.


We biked through a banana plantation

and an angry shepherd threw rocks.

We sang in Hebrew when we found

the Mediterranean.

Every Passover I miss that exile.


My first day back in Santa Barbara

I found a pair of glasses in my neighbor’s shrub.

I’ve searched but I can’t find the rest of the person.