ISSUE NINETEEN: Stymy A Seller | next poem →


Chris Winfield

What was this morning a high end winter hat
is now a container for shed skin and loose follicles.
A brand from Denmark made by minimalists
for Americans best described as post-thrift.
All of them working five straight days a week,
same hours, same desk for a stable future.
No longer serving strangers some way or another,
the only regulars are coworkers who crunch chips
and call their kids at the same time every day.

The passport and airline fees are trivial
for the idealistic reverse-diaspora liberated
from liberation, now lusting for travel.
Their new life goal is to sample every country.
They approach borders uncritically, unaware
of the ethnic conflicts and medieval fiefdoms
from fifty to five hundred years ago that shape
the arbitrary lines. Regardless, they always shed
first their unworldliness. Mere exposure
cures them of the baldness of their honest lives.

Next depends on their circumstances,
which abroad will be self-determined—
buses and hostels, the barriers that divide us,
hotels and trains, more money than necessary.
Still there’s more to lose, now that they can afford it:
some sense of stagnation in their home lives,
those rogue states within them with unlicensed criticism
and the obsession with the quarter life crisis
silently moving them like the electric engine
to travel, to change, to grow and multiply.

Chris Winfield is a poet and university library specialist from Southeast Virginia. He has been previously published in Reality Hands and self-published a poetry zine "I Should Be Lucky To Be Invisible" in 2016. He's based at and tweets at @cry_wifi.

ISSUE NINETEEN: Stymy A Seller | next poem →


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