Issue > Poetry
Luke Hankins

Luke Hankins

Luke Hankins is the author of a poetry collection, Weak Devotions and an essay collection, The Work of Creation: Selected Prose. He is also the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets. He is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

Tomorrow My Dad and I Face the Elevator

Tomorrow my dad and I face the elevator
at the BB&T building, bound
for the 11th floor, on business.
That may not sound like much.
But for a man and his son
who share the same intense phobias,
it is terrifying. Because I know
what it means for him to face those
clamping doors, that closed cage of a room,
I won't let him go alone. It's the cage
of the mind in front of us. That's the fear—
the mind breaking down between floors,
the door refusing to open. To tell the truth,
it doesn't necessarily help to have someone else there,
even him for me or me for him.
But I will go with him, even if all I can do
as our separate minds lock down
in panic is pound steadily on my wall
next to his wall to let him faintly hear
I know. I know. I know. I know.

The Dock at the End of the World

                                                (for Aubrie)

When you're sad, we'll go walking through the fog
until we find the dock at the end of the world
where we can peer into the vacuum of space
and dance a silent waltz to no music,
making our own time,
left-two-three toward the shore,
right-two-three toward the nearest star.


The fog has cleared now
and we're standing in the cold breeze
listening to the patter of snow flurries on our coats.
The lampposts behind us shed an eerie light
over the dock at the end of the world,
casting our shadows halfway across the water.
We reach up
and the hands of our shadows
touch the far shore.


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