Postcard with Photograph
I walked the Great Wall today,
and went deep in the dark of a tomb.
On the postcard he sends along with my thumb
drives and journals left for the dumpster,
the Great Wall trails off into the chalkboard
smear of a blizzard, blazing scrubland slopes,
its parapets crowned with snow and snow built up
like plaque between its parapets, a row of brick
teeth rising out of basalt. Only ghosts walk
those empty stretches, the trains of their robes
smoothing over footprints. After my seizure,
I invited Jordon to whatever he wanted—my guitar,
Lili’s essential oils, lamps, poetry.
In the black and white photograph, he poses
with his violin in a V-necked t-shirt.
Light licks his clavicle. Always the foreigner
despite his fluency, he stares into the camera
like the headlamp of an oncoming train.
Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Terminal Destination (Spartan Press, 2019). He lives with his wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.