- Space Blanket
If in the crinkling thin as air metallicblankets there are flashes signaling backand forth over the little bodies wrappedinside them sleeping on cage floor, gym floor,
floor of a defunct warehouse, don't think of torchfires, beacons of distress, or in the softnessany sign of soothing though they're softas tissue, even softer yet untearable,
a just as tough as soft parental foilno cold can cool; or heat can burn. Weightless,bulkless, and even though the largest swathcan fold into the smallest sack, don't think
efficiency or comfort, or even ofthe children sleeping uncomfortably in bulkalone behind bars in detention centers;instead, imagine you are sleeping in it too,
your body, you, like a spaceship pushing upthrough thinning atmospheres of friction sealedin a material that neither cools nor warmswhat otherwise would only freeze or fry:
imagine it surviving, nothing else,hurtling on through nowhere, holding nothing,like foil wrapped up in leftovers of foilinside the unplugged fridge of outer space. [End Page 174]
alan shapiro's new collection of poetry, Against Translation, was published in 2019 by University of Chicago Press.