THE NONBELIEVER

BY ALISON LANIER, ’15

You’ve been sitting up there, with the night’s last cigarette
with stardust on your skin
You’ve been sitting here
For all the eons that the world’s been squeezing itself together,
hugging itself closer,
Mathematically drawing a bulging body into shape
And you’ve been there, curling and uncurling your toes,
Drinking two-percent milk,
Pretending in your slow, old way that you still believe in magic:
That you still wait for the reemergence of ghosts and goblins
And long-legged beasties.
You’ve lost track of all the fairytales; how long has that been?
You’ve been here,
Quiet
Keeping quiet
As long as you haven’t believed in fairies and in
Flying out of the world.
You’re too old to believe in magic or in the easy unreality of games,
In lava outside the hopscotch lines.
You’re old enough to believe what you’re told
But still—still—with the moonlight swimming cool on skin and
You know there’s something in the old dream
That the moon has the face of a grandfather you miss.
If there was such a thing as a magician,
you would have been what he dreamed up
To keep the stardust dreams alive.

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