Bob Sykora

I Have My First Vision in the Middle of the Night

A few more hours. The longest night
since the last longest night. Eyes faint

as feathers, but a stirring, a stirring.

I replace one obsession with another.
In this room made for falling—where I carve

new ways I fucked up into the trees

of that summer. An entire ballet of memories
to mutilate. I try turning my thoughts to history,

not love. Thoughts of a country without fences.

Where hearts could be replaced by marching
out to the woods, marching on and on

in no particular direction, where—and when—

a country could still be invented. My heart
won’t be held down by history. It doesn’t care

for war stories. I want to look in the mirror

and see myself as I was. As what I could be.
As if love hadn’t led me here, so awake

with all this time to hold and nowhere to put it.


Bob Sykora is the author of the chapbook I Was Talking About Love–You Are Talking About Geography (Nostrovia! 2016). A graduate of the UMass Boston MFA program, he teaches at community college and serves as a poetry reader for Split Lip Mag. He can be found online at and @Bob_Sykora_.