Here & There

Will Frazier

 
 

I can count the times it happened on one hand.

All before I was eleven or twelve.

We’d be sitting at the dinner table.

My father would be speaking.

When I looked at him, a voice in my head said

This is your dad, he is speaking, you are on earth, this is your life

& when my mother spoke & I turned to her, the same.

Just before it began, the voice hurtled me

into space. As it spoke I traveled back to the table

in slow motion at the speed of light—

like the moment you swear you’ve stopped

moving in an elevator or on a plane save for

that little buoyant pocket in your core. Terror

& wonder in equal proportions canceled me,

a witness with no plot. Until the voice—faster,

repeating, sounding more like mine—signaled

return. The last time it happened, I wanted

to delay my arrival & somehow I could.

For seconds I hovered above my checkered seat,

my parents’ words sharpening those charred beams

along the load-bearing wall.

 

Will Frazier is a poet from Virginia. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Image: Detail from Ono Tadashige, Kita no umi, 1974, color woodcut. From the Rijksmuseum.