Afflatus • Thomas Piekarski

There were orbs swirling in the sunset,
New moon fresh risen through the din.
Traffic on the town’s state highway
Choked with cars stopped and stalled.
Starved for a lark from any source,
I crawled through an invisible hoop,
Greeted by Will Rogers on the other side,
His lariat twirling lightning quick.
Then crawled through the next hoop,
Saw Napoleon squatted on a spittoon
Studying maps of Waterloo.
He nodded—another hoop appeared,
So I crawled through it as well.
There was Gertrude Stein sitting,
Reading surrealist poetry out loud.
She flipped a page and another hoop
Arrived from the orange horizon.
My crawl through this one painful
As I’d grown by leaps and bounds.


Thomas Piekarski's work has appeared in Nimrod, Agni, New York Quarterly, Paris Review, Southern Review, Ploughshares, and others. His first book was published in 2010 by Nimbus Press.