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What's Behind

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When he looked back
on the path he’d left behind
there laid a life before his eyes.
Haggard trees weeping over the road,
an ambushed garden, the greenery stomped—stomped and wilted.
The path leading up to him progressed in darkness and gloom.

Cigarette butts were scattered out with dip cans, not far ahead
the dip became intermingled with beer cans and bottles.
The bottles smashed in a drunken rage.
A trickling river of tears and vodka.
The path began to reek as he looked on,
the air fogged by stench and the man could not clearly
see the haze of his life then.
But he knew he had not cared—had not cared to remember.
The haze began to fade, and a curtain no longer covered the road.
A sprinkle of rain grew to a violent storm.
The drops falling like bullets washing out the ground into
deep crevices one could barely find footing on.
Beyond the storm, closer to himself now, the clouds
hovered threateningly. Their deep chest’s purple, rumbling in aggression.
The man looked up now, into the sky where he stood, a storm cloud
above his head as well.
Black and grey, and lightning laced around it.
His path was every action of his life.
So far he had crafted the most bleak of trails.
But his past, the beaten boulevard he’d laid was every
step he’d made.

His path projected no farther past his feet,
his feet—capable to forge a most magnificent lane
or a bleak alley.
He turned, and, looking down,
down at untouched ground, at the feet capable to shape
any road he wished.
Lightly, like a deer’s silent, graceful step, he placed
a foot before him.
There beneath that foot the ground still lay fresh.
The Earth did not reek with alcohol and must,
water did not puddle.
The grass did not wilt and sigh.

Revitalized by the novelty the man bounded off into the distance
east leap into a green pasture
a sun lit field. A bright, clear sky.
Never again did he look back.





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