the woods

i’m walking through these brambles, i’m tripping on the roots

of trees that have stood here since long before i came here

and when i leave, someday, they will continue to grow up to the sky

and i wonder if my mother has walked these paths before

if my grandmother collapsed in despair between tree-roots,

and if her mother sat in fields of scotch broom, despondent

trying to pull them out one-by-one to no avail

i prick myself on the briar rose and wonder how long disease

has marked these leaves, made petals shrivel and fall to the ground

and i’d pick you a bouquet, darling

but i don’t know when i’ll come back around

and at night, everything feels monstrous and scary

and the wind howls songs i’ve never heard on the radio

never blasted at work to get away from my mind

never hummed to myself, tried with all my might to stay on tune

my lungs shake like feathers

i’ve got nothing left to do

i’m walking through these briars, and i’m wading through the creek

the jagged rocks painting red along the soles of my feet

remember when we were little kids, pushing at the boundaries and wandering

through the suburban wilderness out into the unknown

walk until we were dizzy, until your parents got worried and it was far past time

to get home

i’m sitting by the river now, tracing the initials painted on stone

and i wonder how long my name will echo, when i leave this place

wonder how long it’ll take to fade from memory, before every one of my footsteps

has been erased

i’ll build a home in the trees

and i’ll trace the perimeter with each sunrise

i’ll make a home through the branches of the trees

and i’ll pretend i don’t give a fuck, even though i do

i’ll walk away, someday

and in the bottom of my chest, i’m always going to miss you

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