Chet Baker

Laton Carter

When I opened the window, not for a second
did I fly. My mind was sinking

elsewhere. The quiet of the hotel room
received the night air, and I nodded

into it. My body followed.

There’s no romance in
any of this. I had privileges and took

advantage. Then, as in a circle, I was
stuck. There was a habit to support, not

children. Some things I never would see —

on his birthday, my son’s hair rising
to meet the electricity from a balloon.

July in Oklahoma — my daughter
running through shards of dusk and the sprinkler.

from Issue 29.1

LATON CARTER is the author of Leaving (University of Chicago), which received the William Stafford-Hazel Hall Book Award. Poems recently appear or are forthcoming in The Citron Review, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, The Minnesota Review, Sonora Review, and Western Humanities Review.