Switched-on Gutenberg Vol. 6, No. 2
Wish You Were Here

Who wouldn't falter,
if captured by aliens,
and asked to enumerate
the many particulars
of our world? The list
would begin, and begin
every passing hour.
But we'd leave out such
details as this
bungee cord holding

the glass door open against the wind,
and the two, sun-bleached
plastic tulips beside
the scrawny, fluttering bougainvillea.
Or worse—remember only
those details of the catechism,
what it was like on our
low-walled rooftop,

and forget the castle beyond,
with its sword-sheathing angel,
and the street-vaults echoing with
laughter, and the circling,
approaching song of the cat's
first heat.

Copyright 2004,  Michael Cadnum

Michael Cadnum's most recent book is Blood Gold (Viking, 2004.) His 27th book, Starfall (Orchard Books) is due out this fall. Michael has been a Creative Writing Fellow of the National Endowment of the Arts and has published several collections of poetry, including The Cities We Will Never See, Illicit, and a picture book for kids, The Lost and Found House. He lives in Albany, California.


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