There are many places that I have not gone.
I know them, hear them in the stories:
The little bridge in the foothills of Segovia
Distant gunfire rattling among pine needles
Mount Fuji hovering above the wet cypress
Of a tired pilgrimage through empty towns
The splintered deck of the frigate, cannon
smoke and bodies burning the eyes.
Some barrier, some silent egoism stops me
From being pulled there, existing there
Belonging to the author.
So when you arrive
To stand in front of that high school concrete
With your not-displeased almost-smile
I cannot join you.
I cannot lose myself in those xanthous fibers
That forest of Arden, land of exile and freedom
Those eternal fireworks, cascading slowly downward.
I must leave you to blow up your bridges
And seize the prize ships of your enemies
I will watch you from here.
I must remain in my own world,
Of business casual, of preventative maintenance
Of space heaters and moss killer
Swim diapers and subscription media services.
I must forge my own life in the tiny spaces.
I must shave my chin.