it’s a temperate coastal hamlet
within a day’s hike of either snow or sand
where slopes and strands stretch as far as leisure allows

it’s a hamlet
within an hour’s flight of a bustling, hustling metropolis
where pleasure has neither time nor reason to fathom fear or regret

it’s a metropolis
within the freest nation, sheltered from any mythology
that would clip its wings and cage its kith and kin

it’s a nation
within a planetary system whose rings
harmonize songs offered in absolution

it’s a planet
within a parallel universe that I now call home
a place I live as equally as comfortable

in cowboy boots as in eyeshadow
in pink as in blue as in silver as in nude
in bloom as in abscission

as scientist, as poet, as meditation, as serenade
as plant as animal as lichen as lycanthrope
as multiple lights within the spectrum

the express leaves at noon
don’t be late
it seldom returns

—S. T. Eleu