“To Roam” by Asher McCracken
October 12, 2020
To roam the lost streets of words
where you hear things
you can never have heard on the surface
Some smooth and fast,
others loud and dangerous.
You’re on earth within a library,
a city within a book
and the clouds are just jumblings of punctuation.
To play in an abandoned metropolis
wondering why everyone has left it.
Thunder strikes a sound you’ve never heard before
and the earth rattles
but you can’t stay here forever.
People find these places and take everything special
to hide on a beach
at the sea of literature.
The dying sun lays in its coffin,
but it is never buried.
It comes up in the morning,
shines through cracks in the road
in every rip in the page.
To roam the lost streets of words.
Asher McCracken wrote this poem at Laurelhurst Elementary School with WITS Writer-in-Residence Samar Abulhassan. Performed on the digital stage for a Seattle Arts & Lectures’ SAL Presents event with Tana French in Conversation with Ruth Ware on Monday, October 12, 2020.