He said, let’s get out of this town,
and she heard, this place is below me,
but he meant, we can make a home
somewhere far away and more lively,
and she replied, it’s not so bad,
and he heard, I’m not much tempted
by your vision of a home for the two of us,
but she meant, don’t demean my hometown,
it’s where I was born, it’s in my blood,
and he shrugged, and she blinked
before looking away, and soon after
the lovers broke up, fantasies of home
conflicting, the shells on their backs
mismatched, one smooth, one ridged,
different species of turtle; different
dreamers, to put it in humanese.

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.

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