Vanishing Point


After your death, I begin to dream of a city raised
like a barn—its buildings stand up all at once
and then the roof’s put on. The dream recurs.
My bedsheets hold a field of cities waiting to be built.

This gives the illusion that thoughts hang
together somehow, at least a notion that in daylight
some construction might transpire, and so it is
that I start to lay the plan for a city.

I sketch in single-point perspective with my paper pinned
to the roof. My hand strains to recall another
painted ceiling. I fabricate the memory, “my breastbone
visibly grows like a harp,” and I draft slender rafters

in its image. A city always wants a sky, and a barn
already has a roof and Michelangelo didn’t need to paint
his god from a grid. It is true that a barn can be built
in a day and decades pass before it falls.

Vanishing Point by Erika Luckert

Listen to this poem:

Photo by Richard Walker used under CC.


About Author


Erika Luckert is a writer from Edmonton, Canada. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, and was a nominee for the Canadian National Magazine Award in Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Room Magazine, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, CALYX, Entropy, Measure, and others. She lives in New York City, where she teaches creative and critical writing.

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