The Sojourner

“for though we travel light we have the burdens of 300 miles in our heads.” -Brenda Frazer

 

Oh, the burdens

Not hundreds, but thousands- infinite miles

seen and still yet to see, travel

 

All that I cannot unsee, cannot

forget or unknow, still stuck in my

head, heart, gut               like knowledge/experience-thorns

 

Unreliable narrator, even of my own life

Neither here nor there, or anywhere, really- just

shallow roots, passing through            the moments

 

A sojourn of life, no regrets becomes one haunting, fleeting memory-

flash forward, or flash back, it’s all the same fucking day

in a different city, different country.     New self, new identity, new purpose

 

So much change and so much newness leads to a life

fixated-obsessed-absorbed-disturbed-addicted

to a metamorphosis so pure & true that the self simply         disappears.

 

Who are you, again? Who were you then?

It’s all a blur, forgive me. I am not myself, and myself

is not me. Somehow, the miles have transformed me-

 

into someone/no one/everyone        I do not recognize

wary, wanderlusting, wrecked- a WONDROUS TRAMP

in all connotations you could derive      in your condescending mind-

A worn-down woman “living the dream” when her only desire

is just to keep moving and forget about the small shit; maybe

you don’t get it, well good for you. I wish I did, too…

 

“Don’t get up, gentlemen, I’m only passing through.” Well, Bobby D

knows what it is       to always be a foreigner: awkward, impermanent, unknown-

to stand out while being invisible; telling yourself you’re invincible on borrowed time

 

And life isn’t the same as it was back then; being on the road

doesn’t bring an overwhelming excitement, just an exhale of relief,

to be rid of a society that brings you down, shames, ostracizes        for non-conformation

 

To be a misfit of time and place

No culture to call my own- just everyone else’s

from countries in which my name      is long forgotten

 

Travel is breath, travel is life, travel is exhausting

and overwhelming… Oh, the poverty the sadness the injustice

the polluted soils and souls the corruption the wrongs       that no woman can right

 

Yet I can’t live without it-    staring at four walls at ceilings at veins

in my anxious hands… The need to get out, to roam, to drift- it kills my cells,

drowns my lungs, eats the happiness-potential of my brain

 

For what good is life    when you are trapped in a body that

cannot fly, cannot flee? Stuck stuck stuck inside this shell of skin; memories

of smiling faces, fleeting landscapes, roaming animals, colors I can’t comprehend

 

and languages I can’t see… They all turn morose as they pass through

this memory-mind, for I’ve fallen again. My spine aches and my head cries-

for it’s all dissolving in stillness; a permanent sojourn in time         is no life at all.

 

 

 

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