AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD

 

Seeking someone’s hand to grip onto, while

hanging over the vastness of this turquoise mouth,

agape and smoking. You; another blue-eyed Jules Verne,

explorer of cores, holding a dwarf planet in his palm.

I am always wedged between the desire to exist, and the want

to dissipate into nothing at all. Could I be your nothing?

Something you knew and loved once, but have since forgotten

after time-traveling. Sometimes, when trying on

alternate realities, I wear the pale earth, wash my shoulders

with an ounce of it. Make an incision in the middle

of the ocean, and I will climb out of it, horses rushing

along the grey sand cleaved by waves. The sea meets

the sky, braided into it. It is a rope, even fraying.

Dominic Xavier is a journalist with an attraction to poetry. He is a winner of the 2022 Gaffney Prize for Undergraduate Poetry and sometimes spends his time working as a literary editor and growing strawberries.