I’ve spent so long looking for someone to love me. To really love me, not in common terms or the sparkler of affection, commuter flights of fancy or infatuation turned attrition. A love to light the way home. Not where from, but where to.
I’ve started on so many promising paths, wading through dusky pollen plumes and it’s only when the blooms close up shop for the last time and it’s just hard jaws and sideways glances and hammer toes in fuzzy robes, do I find myself lost. And what am I supposed to do now, you say? Just run away. Dive into the underbrush, choke on thorns, bumbling through brambles and snag your ankle, tumbling downtown in Dirt City.
If you’re familiar with scout groups and wilderness troops, you were taught when you’re lost to stay put, that way someone can find you. But no one is coming to find you. You must find yourself, in the thick of all this mess and bloody tears and bricks in your throat that somehow you made, though you can’t remember when. You breathe again, wipe your eyes. You soak your open sores in oak, and stand up on your shaky knees.
In the quiet terror of this momentous endeavor you want like hell to see something familiar in the blotchy blackness, some splotch of color or obscure letter, some flash out on the periphery of never. But it’s all throbbing darkness full of nothing, and you stare so hard your head bulges and your teeth squeal and in the apogee of an erratic orbit the thousandth time: a pixel out of place catches your microwave array. With pupils wide as coffee mugs, pouring over the readouts again but there’s no sign of love. And you’re lost as before, a wounded deer stotting over your fears towards the hope of something you can’t quite say what, just not here.
You run anyway, thrashing in the moss pit, a no-look barrage of wild kicks at the tangling vines and rocks and twisted roots until somehow at a loss for breath or worry you trip over nothing, floundering on even ground, a salmon in a grizzly mouth, moonlit teeth are all around, little pearls that welcome you with a wool blanket and a stump to sit on. They coo over your torn pants and toast your arrival with mulled wine and it’s not a home but you’ve been gone so long, not more than a fawn when this all started, what do you know about home? So you sit and you drink and wrap your eyes tight until sleep, the thief, comes for your worried mind.
Then everyone, the pearls, the warm, the blanket, even your pants are gone. It’s colder than it’s ever been, a new ice age settles in but nothing looks familiar in the cannonball haze of the blue and the grey. So you’re lost, a-fucking-gain. Somehow it’s worse today, the way everything just seemed alright, the height of your joy become the depth of your decline, the path to your doom, circling the drain of what remains of your sanity, chasing a filmy dream faded in the dawn. And you walk on. Out of the cat’s cradle of fabled rhymes and downed power lines and into the long day alone. And now that you see, you don’t need to believe, the syncopated palpitations cease as the tree grows into each one of its leaves.