The vastness gets me,
sometimes; to see all this space
I cannot measure,
cannot obtain—and then
to see my human kin, just as
vast, measureless, objective
in such a state, a condition as this.

All of them new to the
act of human being, and yet
vastly more prepared than I.

Smoldering ostracization becomes
self-inflicted, a loneliness
layered beneath the desire to know myself
and the hot fear of being
too far from human.

In this vastness of space,
in a state of scorched panic,
paralyzed by which
directions I am allowed to take,
feeling guilty for asking permission,
worried that it renders all this less than brave—

my soul is in desperate need for a cling.
The coolness of a hug, like
dipping sweaty feet in a flowing stream,
like the rays of shade with massage my skin
like the postman’s smile on a rainy run—
that kind of hug I reach for.

But to whom?
There is no one around.
No one to call to.
No being here belongs to me,
except
for one.

Which now shall make do, which
now shall serve to satisfy soul
with coolness embrace, burn cream applied,
the cold wash cloth laid so carefully on the brow,
the way the breeze tilts up my chin
and gives my sticky face a kiss.

I draw me in close,
knees right to the chest,
a frazzled sense of state in which
I wrap arms around shins
and nestle in tight.

It sometimes is just me
out here.
And that, too,
counts for something.


The reader brings his or her own perspective to a poem and creates meaning.

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