“Land of the Lost” by Caley O’Dwyer

I began to wonder if the sparking coupons 
could be redeemed.  Much as Will and Holly 
lost their father through the door of time,
had the source codes gone bad? the solid-state devices
through which we’d been transmitted collapsed 
in a surge of current too gracious to bear? 

I could smell someone’s hair burning as the light 
zigzagged and dark spots blocked the faces of my friends. 
The map showed this way to South Coast Plaza, 
that way to the mouth of Gehenna, so as I descended 
the rickety stairs toward Earth’s platinum core,
I was wandering in the space between lands, 

giddily pointing my flashlight 
at the oncoming bursts of elsewhere. 
The roller coaster descends, friction and drag 
preparing the cars to slide into the break run, 
as possibility is converted to kinesis and the soul departs,
free to roam the theme park without the burden of its body.

Caley O’Dwyer’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, Zocalo Public Square and other venues. He is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has received the Academy of American Poets University Prize, as well as a Helene Wurlitzer grant for poetry. A painter (caleyodwyerart.com or https://www.instagram.com/caleyodwyer_art/) and psychotherapist (caleymft.com) in private practice, Caley has taught writing for twenty-five years in southern California universities, including UC Irvine, USC, and Antioch University Los Angeles. His first book, FULL NOVA, was published by Orchises Press in 2001. Other examples of his work can be found at caleyodwyer.com

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