by James King
When I lived in Japan a palm reader said my lines
showed that I would fall many times but marry once.
Sometimes my wife gets up in the middle of the night
to take an aspirin and sees that my arms and legs
are splayed out from under the covers like a squashed bug.
She comes to my side of the bed and a moment later a soft breeze
cools the back of my neck and my elbows and ankles are once again
a part of my body and I am floating floating floating back
to the place that, eventually, refuses no one.
When I lived in San Francisco I did some bad lines and ended up
in the Emergency Room at St. Francis screaming for the night to end.
I once vowed I would never leave the City but there was this woman
on the East Coast whose future held headaches in the middle
of the night from allergies or children too far away to be re-tucked.
I took the red-eye to her not knowing her not knowing a soul but knowing
somehow that I could no longer live my life near the San Andreas fault.
I am not an insomniac but sometimes I wake up and open my eyes and see
nothing but hearing her breathe, deeply, reminds me of Japan.
James King is the author of the award-winning novel, Bill Warrington’s Last Chance, published by Viking/Penguin. His recent poetry has appeared in The Dillyduon Review and The Thieving Magpie. His non-fiction work has been published in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and New York Daily News. James is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds an M.A. in Writing from Manhattanville College. He lives in Connecticut.