At eight I tunnel through sunflower fields
fighting enchanted sleep. Mosquito spray and
sunscreen mix tastes on my lip.
I find the hot sun
without spying the long-lost princess,
but I can't be sure:
maybe I just missed her

The mandrake crouches hidden in the neighbour's flax.


At twelve a poplar tree hunches epic
proportions and windbreak shoulders
a quarter-mile
from my house. My cousin climbs partway; I
make it nearly to the top. I swear
I'm higher than my house,
higher even than the grain elevator...
she calls up to me, but I can't describe it.
It is
the farthest I've ever seen

From a submarine, surfaced, a sight to the horizon is unreliable.


At twenty-three I find SPQR stamped
prominently on a stiff-necked wall:
guardian of Vatican City.
Its runic numerals erode
angles deep into distant times.
Later, I step
on another SPQR stamp, forged
in sewer-grate steel

Senatus Populusque Romanus: The Senate and the People of Rome


"In 1508, by Pope Julius II della Rovere's
commission, Michelangelo Buonarroti
begins painting ceilings.
The Cappella Sistina is rectangular in shape and measures
40.93 meters long by 13.41 meters wide:
exact dimensions of the Temple of Solomon
as described
in Old Testament lore"

One million guidebooks burst into confetti as God's finger finally reaches Adam...


At twenty-four I find Pompeii
one-thousand-nine-hundred and thirty-seven years
too late--
digital camera batteries expiring
in less time
than it took 20,000 people to realize something was
very wrong

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