Eternal Bend


Smell of sea-salt memory crystallizes in the air
and in my mind:
first time a curve opened to the ocean,
first time I felt the unknown was something to seek,
first time a bend in the road was something to look forward to.
Little dots I marked on a map,
where I’d been and where I was heading,
little dots in the line I intended to live,
while bending seasons passed,
day by day, marked or unmarked,
along roads I learned by heart
and drove without thought
until today’s salt air burned like nostalgia,
an open wound—for open-road, open-mind, open-hearted mapping,
like when I asked “where are we going?”
with happy anticipation.

Why to think we know what’s ahead?
Just because we know where we are?
Just because we have a destination?
An open-road is still around the bend.

Why to think we know what’s ahead?
Just because we’ve taken the same road before?
An open-road could be just around the bend.

The mirror that looks over my shoulder
sees my younger self in the back seat, first time at the ocean.

Could it not be that way again?

Memory’s space-capsules rocket through time,
fly without clock or calendar through windows, walls, mirrors and mind,
twirling up the dust of forgetting,
turning, when we cry, into clay of remembering—
something we hold and shape—
vase for a rose bud, cup for a pen,
a heart-held breath that holds everything—even the forgotten?

Photograph and poem, in response to prompt: infinite.


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