He Just Drifted // by Jennifer Patino
The burden on his back finally leaped off,
so he hit the road after decades of ignoring its call to him.
He rolled into the folds of a marigold which was really a setting sun
and he walked across polluted air to get to it.
Liberation has left him with an undertaste in his mouth.
It reminds him of all the pennies he counted with his granddad.
All those mounds of copper collected for a rainy day,
and still, respect wasn’t earned. No one was saved.
He keeps walking a salt line tightrope. He keeps his
best thoughts to himself. However, the stars can read his mind.
He had a sister once. She ran to the ocean, maybe.
It’s been four years. Those who get lost on purpose are hard to find.
A scrap of paper skips by like tumbleweed. He remembers
he used to write poetry. He remembers
all the bronze faces gathered around him during his last
time of need. He remembers. He remembers. He regrets.
His back is turned away from haunting memories, but they rage
inside his head. He is lonely. He pictures himself dead.
Up ahead, a mirage angel tells him it’s okay to go back.
She tells him he left important pieces behind.
He pays no mind. He races with himself to achieve
that ethereal, heavenly brilliance. He craves that stillness.
Darkness descends like a vicious attack. He takes reprieve.
He tells his sister, the moon, he’ll find her soon.
Scars form a layer between him & the ground. He breathes
without a sound. Soon, he falls into dream.
A hawk watches him tiptoe toward his little sister, a sea goddess
twirling to a twinkling music box behind indigo veils,
and she cannot hear him as he screams and wails her name.
No two escapes from a recurring nightmare are ever the same.