The Centers of Gravity in Dreams / Lucas Axiotakis Jr.



                The blue parakeet squawked like an in-house rooster—


        my father woke up, rushed

downstairs, his navy bathrobe dangling. He fumbled and pried open the cage

and snatched the bird like a cat with the focused grace of having just stumbled, and spun

and made for the back door

        where he thought

about how to keep hold of the bird in his left hand

while he slid open the door with his right


        and he almost lost the bird


but he did not and he tossed the bird underhand through the new opening


and the blue parakeet tightened his wings at first, felt his middle, embraced his new status

as a projectile, then chose a nadir and widened his wings and trapped the thick mist underneath

and his wingspan surprised him. Did he squawk again, rogue and wearing war-paint,

        black tar upon blue feathers?

        Or maybe he softly tweeted,

                or throatily warbled


or sang! I was asleep. He deserved song, from within or from without but

there are no violins growing in the ragged grass of a pesticide-free lawn and


his blue hoisted for a fraction of a second, authorizing a committed ascent,

and he shot into the tree-line almost imperceptibly—disappearing, blue into green

like sky upon woods to the scanning eye,

        as though the tree-line were

                his falconer.


Look at anything close enough and you’ll be lucky to see even an electron,

        my father would say.


                All this,

                all this before                                                                        

                Sunday morning.


Look outside, I say in my dreams—whose images I do not see but know—

and the woods will catch any gaze. You can’t trick the woods.


I would have liked to play the scene a song or two

from my bedroom window—

                I was asleep.



Lucas Axiotakis Jr. is a medical student at Columbia University. His work has previously been published in Thoroughfare, a Johns Hopkins multimedia literature and arts magazine. In addition to writing, he records music under the moniker Roy G. Biv, an experimental folk outfit, which can be found online at