We leaned back

                        in the planetarium

            seats, looking up

into the dark—

                        a father and his

            two sons. We heard

what could have been

                        God, the universe,

            an actor reading from

a script. He told us where

                        we came from, where

            we were among

infinite specks of light.

                        The boys grew

            animated, silhouettes

pointing to

                        constellations, heads

            leaning closer, more


                        wanting answers.

            The younger crawled

into my lap,

                        the older held

            my hand

under the great

                        black dome.

            When the lights

came on, my sons stared

                        at the large blank screen.


stood up. I began

                        searching for

            my keys.

Long Gone

Because the boys       

                        will not stop

            fighting, I hit

the brakes and

                        turn around,

            staring them

down, the words,

                        loud and cruel,

            rushing from

my mouth, until they

                        cower in

            their seats, and when

I’m done, angrier

                        than even I


the younger says,

                        He scared me,

            as if I’m not

there, the way years

                        from now, driving,

            he might confess—He

scared me       

                        sometimes—to his

            brother, the road

ending abruptly

                        at a field of trees

            they can’t see through

and must guess

                        instead what lies

            beyond it.

For a Spell

You dip the end of the small plastic wand

into the soapy water, hold it

to your mouth, and blow gently, so

the iridescent film

within the serrated ring

trembles as it grows and grows, until

you are—we are—in it,

all that has ever or will ever waits

outside the bubble, which floats, now,

slowly to the ground.


When a bubble floats to the ground

it means something is about

to break. A spell can be

broken. We say, You fall

under a spell the way

we say you fall

in love. For a spell means, an undefined,

but short period of time,

as in, For a spell, we didnt want

anything else

Blas Falconer
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