A Journey into the Fog of the Living
When I came to the place I needed to be, I waited.
The people were not the people I expected to meet.
I had picked a muddy spot on a fold in a map and left.
When I finally arrived, I knew I had not arrived.
Arrival should note a coming to an end of a journey.
Arrival for me meant a break before moving on.
The day I left, the sun was shining and it was snowing.
The snow was coming down hard, a hail kind of snow,
The kind that tears potholes in blacktop and injures cars.
I left anyway. The sun was beautiful against a backdrop
Of nothing, no mountains, no rivers, no prairie grass.
At the first gas station, I went out into the blizzard.
I filled the car with ice balls and black stones.
On the road, the snow began to whimper. The sun left.
Thick clouds covered the horizon, the road, the land.
Soon it was so dark, it had to be night and it was night.
I slept in a rest stop too noisy and nosy for rest.
In the early hours of the next week, I took off again.
I drove and drove until I reached the ocean.
My car stalled in the sand on the beach. I watched the surf.
There was nowhere else to go. I took off my shirt,
Felt the frost in the air, and dived into the large waves.
This is the best part: I woke Sunday morning in Japan
Surrounded by the thick bones of people the whales killed
Their blunt spears interlocked within the skeletons.
A small boy came to me and spoke a small boy language.
I understood everything, took his small hand,
Walked to the end of the beach where the horizon faltered
And found a way home. This is where we depart.
Michael H. Brownstein‘s first book of poetry, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018) in which the poet explores the linguistic world of Alzheimer’s.