Dreams of Travel


I take the bundle of maps and roll them tight,
stack them neatly in the shelf where they will rest,
marveling at my trick of sliding the whole world
into a cardboard tube, wondering if oceans spill,
if mountains will tumble like laundry being dried,
continents trickling away as hourglass dust.

I know that when I sleep, they come to me,
unfurl themselves in order to lay against my skin,
whispering the names of exotic places
with the hot breath of sirocco in my ear,
moonbeams glittering possibilities
across their paper wings.

Their fragile magic is eternal, but changing,
place names and political climates mirroring fortunes.
They wrap me in a traveler's blanket,
calling me to come where I've never been -
taste the winds of Moroccan streets
and the lush fruit of unknown isles.

And in the warming light of day
I walk the public gardens and concrete ways
of urban indifference,
my face a shuttered lantern,
my work-booted feet recall the papery shush
of stolen steps across a fragile field.

©2014 Christopher Reilley
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