Leveler Poetry Journal
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How To Make Friends


While light held I watched for air mass boundaries,

sunspots, cops behind median bushes,

tried to breathe calmly through my spiracles.

The newest models of cars,

the ancestral gasp of the woman sleeping next to me.

I tried imagining the pillow and cradle topography

surrounding the small New England churchyard

where her ancestors are buried,

the pin and feathered stonewalls.


People may give you pictures of yourself that they took

or show you how to highlight the text and drag it.

They may try to teach you the difference

between each of the 16 quarter winds.

Like Uncle Harold, how proud he was

when he bought his first 20-foot extension ladder.

Somewhere in the middle crease

you find yourself walking into all 32 winds at once.

As evening comes, a stigmatized halo

around each white and amber light.




Daniel Hales