Borealis in a Glass: Poetry by Dan Raphael

With One Step

at least one mind always open
checking out is checking in, time for your elation
growth is seldom symmetrical, ticking as I warm
with bulbs between my feet, networked so I can fly
when my arm’s a world away, a 65 beetle for a bracelet

a city where you don’t have to go outside, borealis in a glass,
with my contacts everything’s black & white
how decisions are mass-produced—you have to know who to ask
I’m living on a ramen budget so I can afford solar-powered wings
my ribs are just for cooling and messages

the language of weather is almost translated by our emotions
which are polyglot omnivores, a stream 12 inches wide
but uncrossable, not water, the other side of a mirror’s internal organs
I hear toenails of rain, trans-body supplements
calling upon the privilege to exist, tiny clouds of gravy
mandating naps at inconvenient moments when everyone is watching
the stove changes sides and frosts the august windows
so the winded insects can write us instruction
hold to the mirror I’ve sanded my palms for hours to create

by looking in one looks behind, look through to out,
teach the toes to see through shoes and know colors
by their jersey numbers, split formations, shotgun,
only the invisible can score, the name you get when you graduate
the name you need without water, shelter or company
just trees on speed, wind on steroids, how can so much smoke
with nothing to burn, rattlers sleeping in dorito bags


— by Dan Raphael

Copyright© 2022, by Dan Raphael. All Rights Reserved.

Dan Raphael’s poetry collection, Maps Menus Emanations, was published last June by
Cyberwit. Out in the Wordshed is expected this fall from Last Word Books. More
recent poems appear in S/Word, Oddball, Unlikely Stories, Synchronized Chaos and


Borealis in a Glass: Poetry by Dan Raphael
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