Because he was a boy, he didn’t understand
that the object he held was alien.
Adults would have balked at the odd aesthetic
behind its craftsmanship at a glance,
but for him, it was a curious artifact
of the human world, not a fallen mystery.
For almost an hour the boy fiddled
with the sleek capsule, humming softly
to himself and the anomaly.
When his small fingers played across
its iridescent dials in a particular combination,
with a sequence of flares it unlocked.
How do you describe the workings
of an iris between two entirely distinct
dimensions of physical structure?
How do you depict the jolting contortion
of planar stability and its energies,
the cataclysmic warp of local curvature?
How do you pen an elegy for the boy
who disappeared into the threshold,
collapsed into its bright syncopated flexion?
Here, exiting, there, entering, and
at whatever border crossing, a swarm
of precise coordinates to preserve.
Stephen Michael Antieau graduated from the University of Illinois in 2007. It was a bumpy ride. Now, he is a brilliant dispatcher, a writer and author, a continuing student of history, a musician, an art collector, a heavy reader, a light runner, a feeder of squirrels, and a faithful if somewhat doubtful Chicagoan. His temperament has always been slow-to-warm-up, and that also happens to be an adequate description of his writing career. He is an MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago.