Journal of Writing & Environment

The porcupine and I skip class to sail to America.

We leave New York for New York, two hours later.

“Here we are,” he says, “fresh off the ferry.”

We walk the sunlit avenues, hands in our pockets.

We sing old Russian songs. Everything looks different.

Our hearts, and their dozen gold disks, feel

heavy in the shadow and light in the sun.

Night falls, and the streets blink as strangely

as the familiar fireflies above our chimney.


Our new mothers tuck us in as always.

The porcupine and I smile at each other,

noting the differences between the countries of

one day and the next. As we harden into sleep


our hearts melt: stormy, sunlit oceans, tossing

white braids of froth that fish leap after,

filthy-finned, swelling white-yellow eyes,

mouths gulping through the air and the errors.