Alexandra York, Virginia

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How are y’all doin’ today?

Did’ya find everything alright?

Well, aren’t you sweet!

Y’all have a good one!

Hey there how’re y’all?

Did’ya find everything–

So sweet!

Y’all are just—

Hey y’all—

Just—

Hey!

        Can’t breathe inside.

        Cold air and concrete,

        Bodies filling space,

        Too many zips and beeps—

        I need to leave.

        This reality isn’t real.

        It’s mechanical, electrical,

        Infecting me with sameness.

‘Scuse me, ma’am.

Hate to bother—

I just—

Yes, ma’am—

I will—

Thank you!              

 

        Double doors slide open.

        I’m greeted by the burning heat

        Of a sun much too bright

        And air so thick I can’t inhale it.

        I absorb it. I bathe in it.

        I let it hold me tight and guide me

        Past the grass drained of color,

        Past the misshapen parking lots,

        Past the sprinklers long forgotten.

        The summer heat is a powerful force.

        Time to listen and obey.

Smile and wave.

Drive slow,

Windows down.

Breathe deep.

Listen to the earth.

        Stop the car in a place nearly missed,

        Trails and trees and rocks and mountain views

        High above the towns,

        Close enough to touch the sky.

        Feel it in my blood,

        Feel it in my heart,

        A loud, painful drumming,

        The need to run, to move

        To feel cold, red dirt

        And sharp mountain rock

        Under my feet as I race

        With animals and spirits unseen

        Towards the hallowed clearing,

        Where grey rocks stand tall,

        And life—all life—has meaning.

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