For Jack Myers

On my way to Arkansas for work
this job has me selling books to strangers
and I’m reading you on the plane
drunk in your canopy of hurt
when I think of my wife and son back home
where I left them in winter’s morning,
single digits, everything frozen white
Mason barely fifteen months old
and warmer than a thousand suns
and I wonder why we kill ourselves for dollars
when all we should want to know
is the gentle ache of breaths
hitting our lungs
like invisible baseball bats—
as the hours grow teeth
I hear the heave-hoe-hum of time
ringing in my ears
like a promise I never made
and I realize my family
is a refuge from everything I’ve been trying to transcend
I think of Mason’s hazel eyes—a perch between my brown
and Lisa’s blue-grey
and I remember that his heart pounds our blood too
But I am a thousand miles away
in a canopy of sky
that’s cradling
this chameleon I almost know

Martin Balgach’s writing has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Cream City Review, The Dirty Napkin, Many Mountains Moving, Opium Magazine, and Rain Taxi, among other journals. He holds an MFA from Vermont College, works in publishing, and lives near Boulder, Colorado.