Signs of Life

The yellow yolk of the dusty canyon
and the drive to get there
The rain in my eyes lapping at the windows
The low whispers of radio sleepwalk I mistook for fog

The mirages are far less intricate than movies and
teenage daydreams lead you to believe
Sometimes all it is is a white canvas sign sitting atop a neck
— a bent metal pole

And every time you squint through the window
it says something different
What does this mean? It reads out the rearview
Questioning itself like you’ve done so many times before

It’s a puncture to the silence of a plain beige universe
You were taught everything untouched by man was better
but the things that led you here were manmade:
Questions. Not plants or even the complex
streak of blood orange that flits thinly between the clouds
Are deep enough to wonder, to ask.

It’s why the first voice you try to hush
is always your own
It’s the things that move you forward
and things that hold you back
Being still means you are the stark white sign
The canyon filling up with particles of the sun
Fading the more the light hits you

You hear that out of nowhere once, someone parted a sea.
People scratched bare feet to brown mud softened by years of salt
At one time, earth moved for us
It doesn’t matter that you don’t really believe it happened

You just need to carry it with you on this trip,
to pass through it
Like a ghost, like a fog, like something that drifts
even without wind.

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