Countdown, 17 (350.)

I carry guilt like an overfilled backpack,
spine bent to breaking under
the weight of what I can’t decide
to hold forever or leave behind.
Letting go, they call it.
Slow sound of zipper unweaving,
frantic inrush of breaths
as my hands go spelunking
for fool’s gold,
the stuff for which I thought I’d find a use,
bones now bent in acute angles
trying to finagle a reason
for out-of-season knick-knacks
and weird paraphernalia
from all my yesteryears,
the special fears
that told me to clutch
old mistakes and quick decisions
that now drag on my shoulders,
heavier than the world,
a heap of bad feelings greater than Atlas’,
Shouldn’t Have Said That Lane
leading right into
What If I’d Tried Something Else County.
It’s a country of tears
and stale daydreams,
playing out scenarios that never happened,
that never will happen,
mind hoping to method act itself
into a brand new consciousness.
I forget the zipper and drop the backpack,
it’s now forged into a relic
of the not-so-distant past
and I,
I move like a Greco-Roman statue,
skimming the Romantic surface just one last time
before I dive into the uncharted waters
at the edge of my skeleton’s experience.
My trunk is old,
but we hope adventure
spurs fresh sprouts to erupt
from skin and speech.
That guilty country is old country now,
and there’s
a whole other part of the world
that I can wander.


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