The jungle comes in for a hug on either side
The people ahead of me outpace me
Stretched long with good nutrition and a certainly they belong where they’ve been planted
I have snuck myself into their lives
And they haven’t realized what’s intruded.
The beaten road won’t be shaken from my feet.
Turning my back does nothing to stop it from being there,
No matter how I let my fingers sweep the lushness of the leaves.
No matter how much I look to the stars with clasped hands
No matter how many tears mix with island sweat.
The others stand behind me, mournful and insistent.
They will not be denied, the people from whom I’ve come.
My gossamer privilege is not opaque enough.
I still see them.
Hollow-eyed and bearded.
Paying too mightily and yet deserving it all.
I dream I’m famous.
But the dream melts into something else,
An escape through hatches
A story I can’t tell,
A crowd that won’t understand.
Even my fantasies are difficult.
My television appearance gets cancelled,
And I awake to a pounding heart and a phone call I should have made.
The weight is massive.
A tray of dishes I can’t carry but I don’t want to drop.
The words are formless, but cutting all the same.
I don’t know why I come from where I do.
I don’t want to.
But this rain won’t wash it off.