what i am

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Sometimes it seems all of life is a series of footsteps, a trail of footprints. A step onto an airplane. A step away; forward. A step in the same annual circle. A smile, a nod. A slowly darkening, wrinkling mirror.

What if one of the footprints you left on that beach years ago is still there? Somehow, somehow. Left alone by waves and wind and other sandy, stomping tourists. Anyway, it still exists there, somewhere, if only in your mind. Footprints like memories, memories like eternal footprints on places.

A face in the mirror. A different face, one that doesn’t belong to you; never did, though you lied to yourself, said it was yours. Happiness replaced by nothingness replaced by sadness. Memories like the trails of footprints left by kisses on your body. You still see them, still visible, they still exist there on your shoulder, on your cheek; you feel them, they live with you, walk with you.

A dull gray morning. Smog covers what surely once was something beautiful. The sun has risen somewhere but you can’t see it. Men drag their feet to work and you follow, the hand of some clock, the minute of some hour. You sit in your chair, gulping coffee, dreaming about the pajama pants left in a puddle at the foot of your bed. Hours later, you step back out into the world, back to those pants: more footsteps, more circles.

I am a calendar. I am a footbridge. I am the shoes I wore when I was four. I am your silly laugh. I am your nervous tic. I am that midnight tear-filled dinner. I am that bad joke. I am your harsh words. I am your silence. I am the warmth of the sun from that day on the beach years ago.

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