by Katherine Sánchez Espano
When I was seven, I lived in the coach car
of a toy train on the living room floor.
I used the windows as binoculars
to study my father.
A hair follicle was a coin
in the wrong currency,
his boots as loud
as a signed receipt.
Unemployment checks on the credenza
were flat like Midwest plains.
Even now I appreciate the uncertainty
of a briefcase returned to its place
by the front door.
At midnight, the brass clock
interviewed the evening
and found it wanting.
My father from his great height
could never understand the joy of riding
in circles, each trip revealing a detail
not noticed before:
the crack on the wall that resembles
a river on a parchment map,
the dropped ficus leaf on the carpet
as green as a rainforest mountain.