At the peak of my


I almost kill my father

who lost his soul

in the Siberian Gulag.

I plunge a fork into

his vodka-soaked thigh

and run away from home.

I get lost in the woods

and can’t find my way back,

roaming around in circles

on the edge of panic

in y clownish shoes.

I remember the rule of three

from my Eagle Scout training:

I’ll die in three hours in the cold,

three days without water,

and three weeks without food.

At night, I can see the Big Dipper

and follow the stars in the bowl

to the North Star, sure of direction

when I find moss on the north side

of a tree.

I slog through marshes,

searching for a rivulet,

running past clusters of chanterelles

I’d gathered in the past,

when I discover the brackish water

of an estuary that lead to the open sea.

I swim out to a mooring,

help myself to a sailboat,

and sail away.