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Feeling East
bibliomaniac
It was wonderful to return to Chicago--the place where I feel East so acutely--as I wrote this novel.
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I used to think East

was wherever I pointed my right

hand.  I was six, and my body

seemed the center of space,

the axis on which directions

turned.  When I learned that

directions are fixed, that our

bodies move through space

like fish, East became

the sunrise, but, even more so,

the lake.  Just North of Chicago,

Lake Michigan is what is East,

and my body could always feel

its presence.  Riding home

from the city, dozing

in the back seat, I always knew

where we were.

 

Living out West now, I find

directions hazy as smog.  My right

hand points to mountains, to palms,

but their presence looms light

in my body.  When I get lost,

and I do, I close my eyes

and try to feel East,

tracing sharp shores of memory,

the pull of the lake in my blood,

following the three right turns home.

 

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