I miss the gravel shortcut from Riverview to West Adams

I used to walk alone at night

up the gravel roads

past the ponies

(though you didn’t see the ponies-

they were undoubtedly sleeping, in the barn,

but that’s where they lived none-the-less,

on old man Thorman’s land,)

with the pollen from the corn field

floating sleepy in the night air-

air still warm

from the radiation of a july sun,

a sweaty hug from the troposphere,

a blanket I couldn’t shake off.

there was no fear there,

at least, no worry of common danger

just the anxiousness of insomnia

nothing more.

nothing more sinister than that.

I’d think about the sky

unfurled like a bolt of satin

stretched above my head,

but I knew it wasn’t flat.

I knew it yawned into infinity

and that made me feel unwell.

I didn’t like how it made me feel.

I concentrated on the chorus of crickets

and the scent of warm earth,

chanting under my breath

I’m alive

I’m alive

in time with every heartbeat,

but I knew it meant nothing to the universe

I knew I would eventually die

and become the earth and the crickets and the ponies

but I knew it meant something to me

in that moment

on a gravel road in the countryside

sometime after midnight.

And I still try to remember how it felt.

 

july 2018.

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