Why We’re Here

by Rebecca Macijeski

The wildness in me wants to see the wildness in you.
Your stories of being a child are just like mine
and also nothing like mine.
The color of wonder is different every time.
Like looking through prisms or rain.

I stack my ideas in tidy hazards
with all the grace of a busted traffic cone
or upturned beehives.
Or they’re children
hopscotching along schoolyards
with the bright chalk I put in their hands.

I tell my ideas to go off and be reckless,
that an entirely safe life
is a boring life is a tragic life
but to always love what they have.

My ideas have bodies as much as I do.
They live like me, collecting things
—enough to fill a universe.

What we know
opens every day
to a smaller and smaller planet
the way wooden dolls do,
the way we’re all hidden inside
shells of ourselves, clinging to separate stars

orbiting forever.

Rebecca Macijeski’s poems have appeared in The Missouri ReviewPoet Lore, Barrow Street, Nimrod, The Journal, Sycamore Review, The Cincinnati Review, Fairy Tale Review, Puerto del Sol, and many others. She has been awarded artist residencies at The Ragdale Foundation, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Art Farm Nebraska. She holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Rebecca is Creative Writing Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Northwestern State University. Visit her online at www.rebeccamacijeski.com.


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