First Loss – by Kirk Glaser

Strapped in the fuselage
after the layover call
fire’s first loss to bite the mind

the journal written
to our daughter
the cover black and white

photo one day old
womb-curled knees touching
head touching hands

beside her on the plane
warm bud
safe from what shatters

your mother hand on her small one
face in the dull
black pane of the seat monitor

skin pale breath ragged
heart spinning faster down
the runway words from the phone

fueling dread as the plane lifts
page after burning page
fastened to the turbulent

mind of what was home
to no home a future
built on flame


Kirk Glaser’s poetry has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Nimrod, Split Rock, Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His poetry collection, The House That Fire Built, is forthcoming from MadHat Press. Awards include an American Academy of Poets prize, C. H. Jones National Poetry Prize, and University of California Poet Laureate Award. He teaches at Santa Clara University, where he serves as Director of the Creative Writing Program and Faculty Advisor to the Santa Clara Review. He is co-editor of the anthology, New California Writing 2013, Heyday.