In this dream we carry suitcases
along a beach, pass someone seated
on a white bench, face averted.
Leaving our luggage behind, we
climb a winding trail into a town
where no one lives. Streets bend
into silence, without voices or cars
humming over asphalt. In the yards,
no one waters roses, pauses to gaze
at the long slope of sky or considers
the shadows of mountains. The clocks
in town move backwards, the winds
blow oblique. We follow a mussel
-strewn track back to the shore but
arrive too late: our red and blue
suitcases, in the path of the rising
tide, float slowly out to sea.
Travelers on Earth, Claudia Buckholts‘ third collection of poems, was published by Main Street Rag in 2023. She received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the Grolier Prize. Her poems have appeared in Minnesota Review, New American Writing, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, VerseDaily, and elsewhere.