Six Pack
Light Travel

Walk along a road—say—
a country lane of gravel
or crushed shell, overhung

with whatever trees grow
where you are. In the light
of the low sun, the leaves

are coppery. The light gives
them a burnished cast,
as they were cast.

You may think of a bronze
sculpture at a garden
store. Moving water, ecrue,

undulates metal leaves
in a fountain you might buy
for your office. If you have

an office. You travel light.
Maybe your walk
is a dream. The sky is sepia.

The trees are without depth.
Everything is on one
plane except you. You

alone are not flat.
There are houses along
the road. Picket fences. Mail

boxes. Driveways lead
to the houses. If you
reach out you can touch

all at once: mail box, fence,
drive, house. one dimension.
Only you are different. You

the one. You the part
of this that defines this.
Maybe, it is raining.

The clean, translucent
rain of summer you find
this time of day. Opulent,

lustrous, drops cling
to the leaves as though
lacquered. You pass near a man

who is setting fire to his tractor
to collect the insurance. You
know this in a dream.

You are a witness. You say
you will tell the insurance
company because even in a dream

you know what is right. You
know what will happen before
it does: that the man will

take a revolver from his coat
and shoot you in the head, that
you will die in your own dream.

So you must change
the end of the dream
before it occurs; must

survive the massive wound.
Maybe there is a sudden
storm in which you save

the man who, in gratitude,
decides not to kill you.
Maybe the dream changes

altogethether—say, you are
walking on a country labe
overhung with those trees

of your childhood somewhere
far away. The road is in
a garden, an endless garden

fully tended to the known
edges of the world.

—Jon Powell